UNC-41/stonin functions with AP2 to recycle synaptic vesicles in Caenorhabditis elegans

Gregory P. Mullen, Kiely M. Grundahl, Mingyu Gu, Shigeki Watanabe, Robert J. Hobson, John A. Crowell, John R. McManus, Eleanor A. Mathews, Erik M. Jorgensen, James B. Rand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The recycling of synaptic vesicles requires the recovery of vesicle proteins and membrane. Members of the stonin protein family (Drosophila Stoned B, mammalian stonin 2) have been shown to link the synaptic vesicle protein synaptotagmin to the endocytic machinery. Here we characterize the unc-41 gene, which encodes the stonin ortholog in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Transgenic expression of Drosophila stonedB rescues unc-41 mutant phenotypes, demonstrating that UNC-41 is a bona fide member of the stonin family. In unc-41 mutants, synaptotagmin is present in axons, but is mislocalized and diffuse. In contrast, UNC-41 is localized normally in synaptotagmin mutants, demonstrating a unidirectional relationship for localization. The phenotype of snt-1 unc-41 double mutants is stronger than snt-1 mutants, suggesting that UNC-41 may have additional, synaptotagmin-independent functions. We also show that unc-41 mutants have defects in synaptic vesicle membrane endocytosis, including a ~50% reduction of vesicles in both acetylcholine and GABA motor neurons. These endocytic defects are similar to those observed in apm-2 mutants, which lack the μ2 subunit of the AP2 adaptor complex. However, no further reduction in synaptic vesicles was observed in unc-41 apm-2 double mutants, suggesting that UNC-41 acts in the same endocytic pathway as μ2 adaptin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere40095
JournalPloS one
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 10 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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