Nunes, P., Haines, N., Kuppuswamy, V., Fleet, D.J. and Stewart, B.
Presynaptic f-Actin promotes synaptic vesicle mobility and is disrupted by an NSF allele in Drosophila.
Molecular Biology of the Cell, 17:4709-4719, 2006

N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor (NSF) can dissociate the SNARE complex but other studies indicate NSF also has SNARE-independent activity. We previously showed that Drosophila larvae with a transgene encoding a mutated form of NSF2 have the same number of synaptic vesicles in nerve terminal boutons but there is an 80% reduction in the number of releasable vesicles. Here we tested the hypothesis that vesicles in the NSF2 mutant terminal are less mobile. Using a combination of genetics, pharmacology, and imaging we find a substantial reduction in vesicle mobility within the boutons of Drosophila NSF2 mutant larvae. Further analyses indicate that there is a corresponding reduction of filamentous actin in the NSF2 mutant and the effect on vesicle mobility is mimicked by an actin filament-severing compound. These data are consistent with a model in which actin filaments promote vesicle mobility and that NSF is important to establish or maintain this population of actin.
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