Journal Article

DSCR1/RCAN1 regulates vesicle exocytosis and fusion pore kinetics: implications for Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease

Damien J. Keating, Daphne Dubach, Mark P. Zanin, Yong Yu, Katherine Martin, Yu-Feng Zhao, Chen Chen, Sílvia Porta, Maria L. Arbonés, Laureane Mittaz and Melanie A. Pritchard

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 17, issue 7, pages 1020-1030
Published in print April 2008 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI:
DSCR1/RCAN1 regulates vesicle exocytosis and fusion pore kinetics: implications for Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease

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Genes located on chromosome 21, over-expressed in Down syndrome (DS) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) and which regulate vesicle trafficking, are strong candidates for involvement in AD neuropathology. Regulator of calcineurin activity 1 (RCAN1) is one such gene. We have generated mutant mice in which RCAN1 is either over-expressed (RCAN1ox) or ablated (Rcan1−/−) and examined whether exocytosis from chromaffin cells, a classic cellular model of neuronal exocytosis, is altered using carbon fibre amperometry. We find that Rcan1 regulates the number of vesicles undergoing exocytosis and the speed at which the vesicle fusion pore opens and closes. Cells from both Rcan1−/− and RCAN1ox mice display reduced levels of exocytosis. Changes in single-vesicle fusion kinetics are also evident resulting in the less catecholamine released per vesicle with increasing Rcan1 expression. Acute calcineurin inhibition did not replicate the effect of RCAN1 overexpression. These changes are not due to alterations in Ca2+ entry or the readily releasable vesicle pool size. Thus, we illustrate a novel regulator of vesicle exocytosis, Rcan1, which influences both exocytotic rate and vesicle fusion kinetics. If Rcan1 functions similarly in neurons then overexpression of this protein, as occurs in DS and AD brains, will reduce both the number of synaptic vesicles undergoing exocytosis and the amount of neurotransmitter released per fusion event. This has direct implications for the pathogenesis of these diseases as sufficient levels of neurotransmission are required for synaptic maintenance and the prevention of neurodegeneration and vesicle trafficking defects are the earliest hallmark of AD neuropathology.

Journal Article.  6164 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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