Synaptotagmin 1 probably functions as a Ca2+ sensor in neurotransmitter release via its two C2-domains, but no common Ca2+-dependent activity that could underlie a cooperative action between them has been described. The NMR structure of the C2B-domain now reveals a β sandwich that exhibits striking similarities and differences with the C2A-domain. Whereas the bottom face of the C2B-domain has two additional α helices that may be involved in specialized Ca2+-independent functions, the top face binds two Ca2+ ions and is remarkably similar to the C2A-domain. Consistent with these results, but in contrast to previous studies, we find that the C2B-domain binds phospholipids in a Ca2+-dependent manner similarly to the C2A-domain. These results suggest a novel view of synaptotagmin function whereby the two C2-domains cooperate in a common activity, Ca2+-dependent phospholipid binding, to trigger neurotransmitter release.
ASJC Scopus subject areas