Neurotransmission requires a continuously available pool of synaptic vesicles (SVs) that can fuse with the plasma membrane and release their neurotransmitter contents upon stimulation. After fusion, SV membranes and membrane proteins are retrieved from the presynaptic plasma membrane by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. After the internalization of a clathrin-coated vesicle, the vesicle must uncoat to replenish the pool of SVs. Clathrin-coated vesicle uncoating requires ATP and is mediated by the ubiquitous molecular chaperone Hsc70. In vitro, depolymerized clathrin forms a stable complex with Hsc70*ADP. This complex can be dissociated by nucleotide exchange factors (NEFs) that releaseADPfrom Hsc70, allowingATPto bind and induce disruption of the clathrin:Hsc70 association. Whether NEFs generally play similar roles in vesicle trafficking in vivo and whether they play such roles in SV endocytosis in particular is unknown. To address this question, we used information from recent structural and mechanistic studies of Hsp70:NEF and Hsp70: Co-chaperone interactions to design a NEF inhibitor. Using acute perturbations at giant reticulospinal synapses of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), we found that this NEF inhibitor inhibited SV endocytosis. When this inhibitor was mutated so that it could no longer bind and inhibit Hsp110 (a NEF that we find to be highly abundant in brain cytosol), its ability to inhibit SV endocytosis was eliminated. These observations indicate that the action of a NEF, most likely Hsp110, is normally required during SV trafficking to release clathrin from Hsc70 and make it available for additional rounds of endocytosis.
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