Tomosyn-2 is required for normal motor performance in mice and sustains neurotransmission at motor endplates.
Geerts CJ, Plomp JJ, Koopmans B, Loos M, van der Pijl EM, van der Valk MA, Verhage M, Groffen AJ.
Neuronal exocytosis is mediated by soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins. Before fusion, SNARE proteins form complexes bridging the membrane followed by assembly toward the C-terminal membrane anchors, thus initiating membrane fusion. After fusion, the SNARE complex is disassembled by the AAA-ATPase N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor that requires the cofactor α-SNAP to first bind to the assembled SNARE complex. Using chromaffin granules and liposomes we now show that α-SNAP on its own interferes with the zippering of membrane-anchored SNARE complexes midway through the zippering reaction, arresting SNAREs in a partially assembled trans-complex and preventing fusion. Intriguingly, the interference does not result in an inhibitory effect on synaptic vesicles, suggesting that membrane properties also influence the final outcome of α-SNAP interference with SNARE zippering. We suggest that binding of α-SNAP to the SNARE complex affects the ability of the SNARE complex to harness energy or transmit force to the membrane.