All Publications

  • Neurexins regulate presynaptic GABAB-receptors at central synapses. Nature communications Luo, F., Sclip, A., Merrill, S., Sudhof, T. C. 2021; 12 (1): 2380


    Diverse signaling complexes are precisely assembled at the presynaptic active zone for dynamic modulation of synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Presynaptic GABAB-receptors nucleate critical signaling complexes regulating neurotransmitter release at most synapses. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying assembly of GABAB-receptor signaling complexes remain unclear. Here we show that neurexins are required for the localization and function of presynaptic GABAB-receptor signaling complexes. At four model synapses, excitatory calyx of Held synapses in the brainstem, excitatory and inhibitory synapses on hippocampal CA1-region pyramidal neurons, and inhibitory basket cell synapses in the cerebellum, deletion of neurexins rendered neurotransmitter release significantly less sensitive to GABAB-receptor activation. Moreover, deletion of neurexins caused a loss of GABAB-receptors from the presynaptic active zone of the calyx synapse. These findings extend the role of neurexins at the presynaptic active zone to enabling GABAB-receptor signaling, supporting the notion that neurexins function as central organizers of active zone signaling complexes.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-021-22753-5

    View details for PubMedID 33888718

  • Deorphanizing FAM19A proteins as pan-neurexin ligands with an unusual biosynthetic binding mechanism. The Journal of cell biology Khalaj, A. J., Sterky, F. H., Sclip, A., Schwenk, J., Brunger, A. T., Fakler, B., Sudhof, T. C. 2020; 219 (9)


    Neurexins are presynaptic adhesion molecules that organize synapses by binding to diverse trans-synaptic ligands, but how neurexins are regulated is incompletely understood. Here we identify FAM19A/TAFA proteins, "orphan" cytokines, as neurexin regulators that interact with all neurexins, except for neurexin-1gamma, via an unusual mechanism. Specifically, we show that FAM19A1-A4 bind to the cysteine-loop domain of neurexins by forming intermolecular disulfide bonds during transport through the secretory pathway. FAM19A-binding required both the cysteines of the cysteine-loop domain and an adjacent sequence of neurexins. Genetic deletion of neurexins suppressed FAM19A1 expression, demonstrating that FAM19As physiologically interact with neurexins. In hippocampal cultures, expression of exogenous FAM19A1 decreased neurexin O-glycosylation and suppressed its heparan sulfate modification, suggesting that FAM19As regulate the post-translational modification of neurexins. Given the selective expression of FAM19As in specific subtypes of neurons and their activity-dependent regulation, these results suggest that FAM19As serve as cell type-specific regulators of neurexin modifications.

    View details for DOI 10.1083/jcb.202004164

    View details for PubMedID 32706374

  • Neurexins cluster Ca2+ channels within the presynaptic active zone EMBO JOURNAL Luo, F., Sclip, A., Jiang, M., Sudhof, T. C. 2020; 39 (7)
  • LAR receptor phospho-tyrosine phosphatases regulate NMDA-receptor responses. eLife Sclip, A. n., S├╝dhof, T. C. 2020; 9


    LAR-type receptor phosphotyrosine-phosphatases (LAR-RPTPs) are presynaptic adhesion molecules that interact trans-synaptically with multitudinous postsynaptic adhesion molecules, including SliTrks, SALMs, and TrkC. Via these interactions, LAR-RPTPs are thought to function as synaptogenic wiring molecules that promote neural circuit formation by mediating the establishment of synapses. To test the synaptogenic functions of LAR-RPTPs, we conditionally deleted the genes encoding all three LAR-RPTPs, singly or in combination, in mice before synapse formation. Strikingly, deletion of LAR-RPTPs had no effect on synaptic connectivity in cultured neurons or in vivo, but impaired NMDA-receptor-mediated responses. Deletion of LAR-RPTPs decreased NMDA-receptor-mediated responses by a trans-synaptic mechanism. In cultured neurons, deletion of all LAR-RPTPs led to a reduction in synaptic NMDA-receptor EPSCs, without changing the subunit composition or the protein levels of NMDA-receptors. In vivo, deletion of all LAR-RPTPs in the hippocampus at birth also did not alter synaptic connectivity as measured via AMPA-receptor-mediated synaptic responses at Schaffer-collateral synapses monitored in juvenile mice, but again decreased NMDA-receptor mediated synaptic transmission. Thus, LAR-RPTPs are not essential for synapse formation, but control synapse properties by regulating postsynaptic NMDA-receptors via a trans-synaptic mechanism that likely involves binding to one or multiple postsynaptic ligands.

    View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.53406

    View details for PubMedID 31985401

  • RIM-binding proteins recruit BK-channels to presynaptic release sites adjacent to voltage-gated Ca2+-channels. The EMBO journal Sclip, A., Acuna, C., Luo, F., Sudhof, T. C. 2018


    The active zone of presynaptic nerve terminals organizes the neurotransmitter release machinery, thereby enabling fast Ca2+-triggered synaptic vesicle exocytosis. BK-channels are Ca2+-activated large-conductance K+-channels that require close proximity to Ca2+-channels for activation and control Ca2+-triggered neurotransmitter release by accelerating membrane repolarization during action potential firing. How BK-channels are recruited to presynaptic Ca2+-channels, however, is unknown. Here, we show that RBPs (for RIM-binding proteins), which are evolutionarily conserved active zone proteins containing SH3- and FN3-domains, directly bind to BK-channels. We find that RBPs interact with RIMs and Ca2+-channels via their SH3-domains, but to BK-channels via their FN3-domains. Deletion of RBPs in calyx of Held synapses decreased and decelerated presynaptic BK-currents and depleted BK-channels from active zones. Our data suggest that RBPs recruit BK-channels into a RIM-based macromolecular active zone complex that includes Ca2+-channels, synaptic vesicles, and the membrane fusion machinery, thereby enabling tight spatio-temporal coupling of Ca2+-influx to Ca2+-triggered neurotransmitter release in a presynaptic terminal.

    View details for PubMedID 29967030

  • Extended Synaptotagmin (ESyt) Triple Knock-Out Mice Are Viable and Fertile without Obvious Endoplasmic Reticulum Dysfunction PLOS ONE Sclip, A., Bacaj, T., Giam, L. R., Sudhof, T. C. 2016; 11 (6)


    Extended synaptotagmins (ESyts) are endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteins composed of an N-terminal transmembrane region, a central SMP-domain, and five (ESyt1) or three C-terminal cytoplasmic C2-domains (ESyt2 and ESyt3). ESyts bind phospholipids in a Ca2+-dependent manner via their C2-domains, are localized to ER-plasma membrane contact sites, and may catalyze lipid exchange between the plasma membrane and the ER via their SMP-domains. However, the overall function of ESyts has remained enigmatic. Here, we generated triple constitutive and conditional knock-out mice that lack all three ESyt isoforms; in addition, we produced knock-in mice that express mutant ESyt1 or ESyt2 carrying inactivating substitutions in the Ca2+-binding sites of their C2A-domains. Strikingly, all ESyt mutant mice, even those lacking all ESyts, were apparently normal and survived and bred in a manner indistinguishable from control mice. ESyt mutant mice displayed no major changes in brain morphology or synaptic protein composition, and exhibited no large alterations in stress responses. Thus, in mice ESyts do not perform an essential role in basic cellular functions, suggesting that these highly conserved proteins may perform a specialized role that may manifest only during specific, as yet untested challenges.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0158295

    View details for PubMedID 27348751