Identification of the SNARE complex mediating the exocytosis of NMDA receptors

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20 Scopus citations


In the central nervous system, NMDA receptors mediate excitatory neurotransmissions and play important roles in synaptic plasticity. The regulation of NMDA receptor trafficking is critical for neural functions in the brain. Here, we directly visualized individual exocytic events of NMDA receptors in rat hippocampal neurons by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM). We found that the constitutive exocytosis of NMDA receptors included both de novo exocytic and recycling events, which were regulated by different Rab proteins. We also identified the SNAP25-VAMP1-syntaxin4 complex mediating the constitutive exocytosis of NMDA receptors. Transient knockdown of each component of the SNARE complex interfered with surface delivery of NMDA receptors to both extrasynaptic and synaptic membranes. Our study uncovers the postsynaptic function of the SNAP25-VAMP1-syntaxin4 complex in mediating the constitutive exocytosis of NMDA receptors, suggesting that this SNARE complex is involved in excitatory synaptic transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12280-12285
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 25 2016


  • Constitutive exocytosis
  • NMDA receptor
  • Rab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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