J Comp Neurol. 2008 October 10; 510(5): 550–559.
Previous studies have demonstrated that ribbon synapses in the retina do not contain the t-SNARE (target-soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) syntaxin 1A that is found in conventional synapses of the nervous system. In contrast, ribbon synapses of the retina contain the related isoform syntaxin 3. In addition to its localization in ribbon synapses, syntaxin 3 is also found in nonneuronal cells, where it has been implicated in the trafficking of transport vesicles to the apical plasma membrane of polarized cells. The syntaxin 3 gene codes for four different splice forms, syntaxins 3A, 3B, 3C, and 3D. We demonstrate here by using analysis of EST databases, RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, and Northern blot analysis that cells in the mouse retina express only syntaxin 3B. In contrast, nonneuronal tissues, such as kidney, express only syntaxin 3A. The two major syntaxin isoforms (3A and 3B) have an identical N-terminal domain but differ in the C-terminal half of the SNARE domain and the C-terminal transmembrane domain. These two domains are thought to be directly involved in synaptic vesicle fusion. The interaction of syntaxin 1A and syntaxin 3B with other synaptic proteins was examined. We found that both proteins bind Munc18/N-sec1 with similar affinity. In contrast, syntaxin 3B had a much lower binding affinity for the t-SNARE SNAP25 compared with syntaxin 1A. By using an in vitro fusion assay, we could demonstrate that vesicles containing syntaxin 3B and SNAP25 could fuse with vesicles containing synaptobrevin2/VAMP2, demonstrating that syntaxin 3B can function as a t-SNARE.
Alternative Splicing, Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Liposomes, Membrane Fusion, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Molecular Sequence Data, Protein Isoforms, Qa-SNARE Proteins, Retina, SNARE Proteins, Sequence Alignment, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Synapses, Synaptosomal-Associated Protein 25, Tissue Distribution