Analysis of knock-out mice to determine the role of HPC-1/syntaxin 1A in expressing synaptic plasticity

J Neurosci. 2006 May 24;26(21):5767-76. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0289-06.2006.


The protein HPC-1/syntaxin 1A is abundantly expressed in neurons and localized in the neuronal plasma membrane. It forms a complex with SNAP-25 (25 kDa synaptosomal-associated protein) and VAMP-2 (vesicle-associated membrane protein)/synaptobrevin called SNARE (a soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptor) complex, which is considered essential for synaptic vesicle exocytosis; thus, HPC-1/syntaxin 1A is considered crucial for synaptic transmission. To examine the physiological function of HPC-1/syntaxin 1A in vivo, we produced knock-out (KO) mice by targeted gene disruption. Although HPC-1/syntaxin 1A expression was completely depleted without any effect on the expression of other SNARE proteins, the KO mice were viable. They grew normally, were fertile, and displayed no difference in appearance compared with control littermate. In cultured hippocampal neurons derived from the KO mice, the basic synaptic transmission in vitro was normal. However, the mutant mice had impaired long-term potentiation in the hippocampal slice. Also, although KO mice exhibited normal spatial memory in the hidden platform test, consolidation of conditioned fear memory was impaired. Interestingly, the KO mice had impaired conditioned fear memory extinction. These observations suggest that HPC-1/syntaxin 1A may be closely related to synaptic plasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • Syntaxin 1 / genetics
  • Syntaxin 1 / metabolism*


  • Stx1a protein, mouse
  • Syntaxin 1