VAP-SCRN1 interaction regulates dynamic endoplasmic reticulum remodeling and presynaptic function

EMBO J. 2019 Oct 15;38(20):e101345. doi: 10.15252/embj.2018101345. Epub 2019 Aug 23.


In neurons, the continuous and dynamic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network extends throughout the axon, and its dysfunction causes various axonopathies. However, it remains largely unknown how ER integrity and remodeling modulate presynaptic function in mammalian neurons. Here, we demonstrated that ER membrane receptors VAPA and VAPB are involved in modulating the synaptic vesicle (SV) cycle. VAP interacts with secernin-1 (SCRN1) at the ER membrane via a single FFAT-like motif. Similar to VAP, loss of SCRN1 or SCRN1-VAP interactions resulted in impaired SV cycling. Consistently, SCRN1 or VAP depletion was accompanied by decreased action potential-evoked Ca2+ responses. Additionally, we found that VAP-SCRN1 interactions play an important role in maintaining ER continuity and dynamics, as well as presynaptic Ca2+ homeostasis. Based on these findings, we propose a model where the ER-localized VAP-SCRN1 interactions provide a novel control mechanism to tune ER remodeling and thereby modulate Ca2+ dynamics and SV cycling at presynaptic sites. These data provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms controlling ER structure and dynamics, and highlight the relevance of ER function for SV cycling.

Keywords: VAP; axon; endoplasmic reticulum; secernin; synaptic vesicle cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Biological Transport
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Female
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Rats
  • Synaptic Vesicles / physiology


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • SCRN1 protein, human
  • VAPB protein, rat
  • Vapa protein, rat
  • Calcium