Syntaxin 3B is essential for the exocytosis of synaptic vesicles in ribbon synapses of the retina.

Publication Date



Neuroscience. 2010 March 31; 166(3): 832–841.


Ribbon synapses of the vertebrate retina are specialized synapses that release neurotransmitter by synaptic vesicle exocytosis in a manner that is proportional to the level of depolarization of the cell. This release property is different from conventional neurons, in which the release of neurotransmitter occurs as a short-lived burst triggered by an action potential. Synaptic vesicle exocytosis is a calcium regulated process that is dependent on a set of interacting synaptic proteins that form the so-called SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) complex. Syntaxin 3B has been identified as a specialized SNARE molecule in ribbon synapses of the rodent retina. However, the best physiologically-characterized neuron that forms ribbon-style synapses is the rod-dominant or Mb1 bipolar cell of the goldfish retina. We report here the molecular characterization of syntaxin 3B from the goldfish retina. Using a combination of reverse transcription (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunostaining with a specific antibody, we show that syntaxin 3B is highly enriched in the plasma membrane of bipolar cell synaptic terminals of the goldfish retina. Using membrane capacitance measurements we demonstrate that a peptide derived from goldfish syntaxin 3B inhibits synaptic vesicle exocytosis. These experiments demonstrate that syntaxin 3B is an important factor for synaptic vesicle exocytosis in ribbon synapses of the vertebrate retina.


Animals, Cell Membrane, Exocytosis, Goldfish, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Qa-SNARE Proteins, Retina, Retinal Bipolar Cells, Synaptic Vesicles