Synaptic vesicles are primed into a state that is ready for fast neurotransmitter release upon Ca2+-binding to Synaptotagmin-1. This state likely includes trans-SNARE complexes between the vesicle and plasma membranes that are bound to Synaptotagmin-1 and complexins. However, the nature of this state and the steps leading to membrane fusion are unclear, in part because of the difficulty of studying this dynamic process experimentally. To shed light into these questions, we performed all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of systems containing trans-SNARE complexes between two flat bilayers or a vesicle and a flat bilayer with or without fragments of Synaptotagmin-1 and/or complexin-1. Our results need to be interpreted with caution because of the limited simulation times and the absence of key components, but suggest mechanistic features that may control release and help visualize potential states of the primed Synaptotagmin-1-SNARE-complexin-1 complex. The simulations suggest that SNAREs alone induce formation of extended membrane-membrane contact interfaces that may fuse slowly, and that the primed state contains macromolecular assemblies of trans-SNARE complexes bound to the Synaptotagmin-1 C2B domain and complexin-1 in a spring-loaded configuration that prevents premature membrane merger and formation of extended interfaces, but keeps the system ready for fast fusion upon Ca2+ influx.
Most files corresponding to our molecular dynamics simulations are available in the dryad database (doi:10.5061/dryad.ns1rn8pw6). Because of the very large size of trajectory files, it was not practical to deposit them in this database, but these files are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
Data from: All-atom molecular dynamics simulations of Synaptotagmin-SNARE-complexin complexes bridging a vesicle and a flat lipid bilayerDryad Digital Repository, doi:10.5061/dryad.ns1rn8pw6.
- Josep Rizo
- Josep Rizo
- Wonpil Im
- Yife Qi
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Frederic Pincet, Ecole Normal Superieure, France
© 2022, Rizo 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.
Previously we showed that 2D template matching (2DTM) can be used to localize macromolecular complexes in images recorded by cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) with high precision, even in the presence of noise and cellular background (Lucas et al., 2021; Lucas et al., 2022). Here, we show that once localized, these particles may be averaged together to generate high-resolution 3D reconstructions. However, regions included in the template may suffer from template bias, leading to inflated resolution estimates and making the interpretation of high-resolution features unreliable. We evaluate conditions that minimize template bias while retaining the benefits of high-precision localization, and we show that molecular features not present in the template can be reconstructed at high resolution from targets found by 2DTM, extending prior work at low-resolution. Moreover, we present a quantitative metric for template bias to aid the interpretation of 3D reconstructions calculated with particles localized using high-resolution templates and fine angular sampling.
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