To encode light-dependent changes in membrane potential, rod and cone photoreceptors utilize synaptic ribbons to sustain continuous exocytosis while making rapid, fine adjustments to release rate. Release kinetics are shaped by vesicle delivery down ribbons and by properties of exocytotic Ca2+ sensors. We tested the role for synaptotagmin-1 (Syt1) in photoreceptor exocytosis by using novel mouse lines in which Syt1 was conditionally removed from rods or cones. Photoreceptors lacking Syt1 exhibited marked reductions in exocytosis as measured by electroretinography and single-cell recordings. Syt1 mediated all evoked release in cones, whereas rods appeared capable of some slow Syt1-independent release. Spontaneous release frequency was unchanged in cones but increased in rods lacking Syt1. Loss of Syt1 did not alter synaptic anatomy or reduce Ca2+ currents. These results suggest that Syt1 mediates both phasic and tonic release at photoreceptor synapses, revealing unexpected flexibility in the ability of Syt1 to regulate Ca2+-dependent synaptic transmission.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figure 9.
- Wallace B Thoreson
- Wallace B Thoreson
- Justin J Grassmeyer
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal care and handling protocols were approved by the University of Nebraska Medical Center Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (protocols 15-027-00 and 15-028-04).
- Reinhard Jahn, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany
© 2019, Grassmeyer et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Rapid conversion of force into a biological signal enables living cells to respond to mechanical forces in their environment. The force is believed to initially affect the plasma membrane and then alter the behavior of membrane proteins. Phospholipase D2 (PLD2) is a mechanosensitive enzyme that is regulated by a structured membrane-lipid site comprised of cholesterol and saturated ganglioside (GM1). Here we show stretch activation of TWIK-related K+ channel (TREK-1) is mechanically evoked by PLD2 and spatial patterning involving ordered GM1 and 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) clusters in mammalian cells. First, mechanical force deforms the ordered lipids, which disrupts the interaction of PLD2 with the GM1 lipids and allows a complex of TREK-1 and PLD2 to associate with PIP2 clusters. The association with PIP2 activates the enzyme, which produces the second messenger phosphatidic acid (PA) that gates the channel. Co-expression of catalytically inactive PLD2 inhibits TREK-1 stretch currents in a biological membrane. Cellular uptake of cholesterol inhibits TREK-1 currents in culture and depletion of cholesterol from astrocytes releases TREK-1 from GM1 lipids in mouse brain. Depletion of the PLD2 ortholog in flies results in hypersensitivity to mechanical force. We conclude PLD2 mechanosensitivity combines with TREK-1 ion permeability to elicit a mechanically evoked response.
The Hydra nervous system is the paradigm of a ‘simple nerve net’. Nerve cells in Hydra, as in many cnidarian polyps, are organized in a nerve net extending throughout the body column. This nerve net is required for control of spontaneous behavior: elimination of nerve cells leads to polyps that do not move and are incapable of capturing and ingesting prey (Campbell, 1976). We have re-examined the structure of the Hydra nerve net by immunostaining fixed polyps with a novel antibody that stains all nerve cells in Hydra. Confocal imaging shows that there are two distinct nerve nets, one in the ectoderm and one in the endoderm, with the unexpected absence of nerve cells in the endoderm of the tentacles. The nerve nets in the ectoderm and endoderm do not contact each other. High-resolution TEM (transmission electron microscopy) and serial block face SEM (scanning electron microscopy) show that the nerve nets consist of bundles of parallel overlapping neurites. Results from transgenic lines show that neurite bundles include different neural circuits and hence that neurites in bundles require circuit-specific recognition. Nerve cell-specific innexins indicate that gap junctions can provide this specificity. The occurrence of bundles of neurites supports a model for continuous growth and differentiation of the nerve net by lateral addition of new nerve cells to the existing net. This model was confirmed by tracking newly differentiated nerve cells.