Central synapses exhibit spontaneous neurotransmitter release that is selectively regulated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA). We now show that synaptic vesicles contain synaptotagmin-12, a synaptotagmin isoform that differs from classical synaptotagmins in that it does not bind Ca2+. In synaptic vesicles, synaptotagmin-12 forms a complex with synaptotagmin-1 that prevents synaptotagmin-1 from interacting with SNARE complexes. We demonstrate that synaptotagmin-12 is phosphorylated by cAMP-dependent PKA on serine 97, and show that expression of synaptotagmin-12 in neurons increases spontaneous neurotransmitter release by approximately threefold, but has no effect on evoked release. Replacing serine97 by alanine abolishes synaptotagmin-12 phosphorylation and blocks its effect on spontaneous release. Our data suggest that spontaneous synaptic-vesicle exocytosis is selectively modulated by a Ca2+-independent synaptotagmin isoform, synaptotagmin-12, which is controlled by cAMP-dependent phosphorylation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology