Spectrin (betaSpIIsigma1) is an essential component of synaptic transmission

Brain Res. 2000 Jan 3;852(1):161-6. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(99)02253-2.


The cellular mechanism that underlies the regulated release of synaptic vesicles during neurotransmission is not fully known. Our previous data has shown that brain spectrin (alphaSpIIsigma1/betaSpIIsigma1)2 is localized in axons and nerve terminals and we have shown that the beta subunit (betaSpIIsigma1) contains a synapsin-binding domain capable of interacting with synapsin and small synaptic vesicles in vitro and in vivo. These findings suggested a role for brain beta-spectrin in synaptic neurotransmission. To examine this possibility further, peptide-specific antibodies directed against epitopes within the synapsin-binding domain of brain beta-spectrin, or against flanking regions, were injected into the presynaptic neuron of synaptically paired rat hippocampal neurons in culture. Here, we show that the antibodies directed against the synapsin-binding domain specifically blocked synaptic neurotransmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Antibodies / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology
  • Presynaptic Terminals / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Spectrin / immunology
  • Spectrin / metabolism
  • Spectrin / physiology*
  • Synapsins / metabolism
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*


  • Antibodies
  • Epitopes
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Synapsins
  • Spectrin