X-linked intellectual disability-associated mutations in synaptophysin disrupt synaptobrevin II retrieval

J Neurosci. 2013 Aug 21;33(34):13695-700. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0636-13.2013.


Synaptophysin is an integral synaptic vesicle (SV) protein that accounts for ∼10% of total SV protein cargo. Deletion of synaptophysin results in the defective retrieval of synaptobrevin II (sybII) from the plasma membrane during endocytosis, coupled with a slowing in the speed of endocytosis. Synaptophysin has been implicated in X-linked intellectual disability, with a recent study identifying four separate synaptophysin gene mutations in families affected by the disorder. To determine how these mutations may affect synaptophysin function, we expressed them in cultured neurons derived from synaptophysin knock-out mice. Two distinct truncating mutants were mislocalized throughout the axon and phenocopied the arrest of sybII retrieval in synaptophysin knock-out cultures. The remaining two mutants displayed a nerve terminal localization but did not support efficient sybII retrieval. Interestingly, one mutant fully rescued SV endocytosis kinetics, suggesting that sybII retrieval and endocytosis speed are independent from each other. These studies suggest that the efficient retrieval of sybII by synaptophysin may be key to maintaining synaptic health and perturbation of this event may contribute to the pathogenesis underlying neurodevelopmental disorders such as X-linked intellectual disability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / genetics
  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Female
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Point Mutation / genetics*
  • Synaptophysin / deficiency
  • Synaptophysin / genetics*
  • Transfection
  • Transport Vesicles / genetics
  • Transport Vesicles / metabolism
  • Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein 2 / metabolism*
  • Vesicular Glutamate Transport Proteins / metabolism


  • PHluorin
  • Synaptophysin
  • Syp protein, mouse
  • Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein 2
  • Vesicular Glutamate Transport Proteins
  • vesicle-associated membrane protein 2, mouse
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins