The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

An Endocytic Scaffolding Protein together with Synapsin Regulates Synaptic Vesicle Clustering in the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction.

PMID 26538647


Many endocytic proteins accumulate in the reserve pool of synaptic vesicles (SVs) in synapses and relocalize to the endocytic periactive zone during neurotransmitter release. Currently little is known about their functions outside the periactive zone. Here we show that in the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ), the endocytic scaffolding protein Dap160 colocalizes during the SV cycle and forms a functional complex with the SV-associated phosphoprotein synapsin, previously implicated in SV clustering. This direct interaction is strongly enhanced under phosphorylation-promoting conditions and is essential for proper localization of synapsin at NMJs. In a dap160 rescue mutant lacking the interaction between Dap160 and synapsin, perturbed reclustering of SVs during synaptic activity is observed. Our data indicate that in addition to the function in endocytosis, Dap160 is a component of a network of protein-protein interactions that serves for clustering of SVs in conjunction with synapsin. During the SV cycle, Dap160 interacts with synapsin dispersed from SVs and helps direct synapsin back to vesicles. The proteins function in synergy to achieve efficient clustering of SVs in the reserve pool. We provide the first evidence for the function of the SH3 domain interaction in synaptic vesicle (SV) organization at the synaptic active zone. Using Drosophila neuromuscular junction as a model synapse, we describe the molecular mechanism that enables the protein implicated in SV clustering, synapsin, to return to the pool of vesicles during neurotransmitter release. We also identify the endocytic scaffolding complex that includes Dap160 as a regulator of the events linking exocytosis and endocytosis in synapses.