In vitro study of interaction of synaptic vesicles with lipid membranes
Ghosh, S.K. Castorph, Simon Konovalov, O. Jahn, Reinhard Holt, Matthew Salditt, Tim # ×
Institute of Physics Pub.
New Journal of Physics vol:12 pages:105004-105028
The fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) with the plasma membrane in neurons is a crucial step in the release of neurotransmitters, which are responsible for carrying signals between nerve cells. While many of the molecular players involved in this fusion process have been identified, a precise molecular description of their roles in the process is still lacking. A case in point is the plasma membrane lipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). Although PIP2 is known to be essential for vesicle fusion, its precise role in the process remains unclear. We have re-investigated the role of this lipid in membrane structure and function using the complementary experimental techniques of x-ray reflectivity, both on lipid monolayers at an air–water interface and bilayers on a solid support, and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction on lipid monolayers. These techniques provide unprecedented access to structural information at the molecular level, and detail the profound structural changes that occur in a membrane following PIP2 incorporation. Further, we also confirm and extend previous findings that the association of SVs with membranes is enhanced by PIP2 incorporation, and reveal the structural changes that underpin this phenomenon. Further, the association is further intensified by a physiologically relevant amount of Ca2+ ions in the subphase of the monolayer, as revealed by the increase in interfacial pressure seen with the lipid monolayer system. Finally, a theoretical calculation concerning the products arising from the fusion of these SVs with proteoliposomes is presented, with which we aim to illustrate the potential future uses of this system.