The domain of brain β-spectrin responsible for synaptic vesicle association is essential for synaptic transmission

Warren E. Zimmer, Ying Zhao, Aleksander F. Sikorski, Stuart D. Critz, José Sangerman, Lisa A. Elferink, X. Susan Xu, Steven R. Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We have examined the interaction between synapsin I, the major phosphoprotein on the membrane of small synaptic vesicles, and brain spectrin. Using recombinant peptides we have localized the synapsin I attachment site upon the β-spectrin isoform βSpIIΣI to a region of 25 amino acids, residues 211 through 235. This segment is adjacent to the actin binding domain and is within the region of the βSpIIΣI that we previously predicted as a candidate synapsin I binding domain based upon sequence homology. We used differential centrifugation techniques to quantitatively assess the interaction of spectrin with synaptic vesicles. Using this assay, high affinity saturable binding of recombinant βSpIIΣI proteins was observed with synaptic vesicles. Binding was only observed when the 25 amino acid synapsin I binding site was included on the recombinant peptides. Further, we demonstrate that antibodies directed against 15 amino acids of the synapsin I binding domain specifically blocked synaptic transmission in cultured hippocampal neurons. Thus, the synapsin I attachment site on βSpIIΣI spectrin comprises a ~25 amino acid segment of the molecule and interaction of these two proteins is an essential step for the process of neurotransmission. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-27
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 20 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Spectrin
  • Synapsin
  • Synaptic transmission
  • Synaptic vesicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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