Tomosyn inhibits synaptic vesicle priming in Caenorhabditis elegans

Elena O. Gracheva, Anna O. Burdina, Andrea M. Holgado, Martine Berthelot-Grosjean, Brian D. Ackley, Gayla Hadwiger, Michael L. Nonet, Robby M. Weimer, Janet E. Richmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Caenorhabditis elegans TOM-1 is orthologous to vertebrate tomosyn, a cytosolic syntaxin-binding protein implicated in the modulation of both constitutive and regulated exocytosis. To investigate how TOM-1 regulates exocytosis of synaptic vesicles in vivo, we analyzed C. elegans tom-1 mutants. Our electrophysiological analysis indicates that evoked postsynaptic responses at tom-1 mutant synapses are prolonged leading to a two-fold increase in total charge transfer. The enhanced response in tom-1 mutants is not associated with any detectable changes in postsynaptic response kinetics, neuronal outgrowth, or synaptogenesis. However, at the ultrastructural level, we observe a concomitant increase in the number of plasma membrane-contacting vesicles in tom-1 mutant synapses, a phenotype reversed by neuronal expression of TOM-1. Priming defective unc-13 mutants show a dramatic reduction in plasma membrane-contacting vesicles, suggesting these vesicles largely represent the primed vesicle pool at the C. elegans neuromuscular junction. Consistent with this conclusion, hyperosmotic responses in tom-1 mutants are enhanced, indicating the primed vesicle pool is enhanced. Furthermore, the synaptic defects of unc-13 mutants are partially suppressed in tom-1 unc-13 double mutants. These data indicate that in the intact nervous system, TOM-1 negatively regulates synaptic vesicle priming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1437
Number of pages12
JournalPLoS biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2006


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