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Protein kinase C is a calcium sensor for presynaptic short-term plasticity.

  • Author(s): Fioravante, Diasynou
  • Chu, YunXiang
  • de Jong, Arthur Ph
  • Leitges, Michael
  • Kaeser, Pascal S
  • Regehr, Wade G
  • et al.
Abstract

In presynaptic boutons, calcium (Ca(2+)) triggers both neurotransmitter release and short-term synaptic plasticity. Whereas synaptotagmins are known to mediate vesicle fusion through binding of high local Ca(2+) to their C2 domains, the proteins that sense smaller global Ca(2+) increases to produce short-term plasticity have remained elusive. Here, we identify a Ca(2+) sensor for post-tetanic potentiation (PTP), a form of plasticity thought to underlie short-term memory. We find that at the functionally mature calyx of Held synapse the Ca(2+)-dependent protein kinase C isoforms α and β are necessary for PTP, and the expression of PKCβ in PKCαβ double knockout mice rescues PTP. Disruption of Ca(2+) binding to the PKCβ C2 domain specifically prevents PTP without impairing other PKCβ-dependent forms of synaptic enhancement. We conclude that different C2-domain-containing presynaptic proteins are engaged by different Ca(2+) signals, and that Ca(2+) increases evoked by tetanic stimulation are sensed by PKCβ to produce PTP.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03011.001.

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