Calcium-Independent Exo-endocytosis Coupling at Small Central Synapses

Cell Rep. 2019 Dec 17;29(12):3767-3774.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.11.060.


At presynaptic terminals, neurotransmitters are released by synaptic vesicle exocytosis at the active zone. In order to maintain efficient neurotransmission and proper synaptic structure, sites of vesicle fusion must be cleared rapidly by endocytosis. Therefore, the coupling of exo- and endocytosis is crucial. Despite many years of research, the exact molecular and biophysical requirements for the coupling of exo- and endocytosis remain unclear. We investigate whether endocytosis can be triggered in a calcium-independent fashion by evoking calcium-independent exocytosis using a hypertonic sucrose solution. We demonstrate that endocytosis can be triggered, in the absence of calcium influx, in a clathrin-independent manner that relies on actin polymerization. Our findings point to a central role of membrane tension dependent on actin for efficient coupling of exo- and endocytosis.

Keywords: calcium; endocytosis; exo-endocytosis coupling; presynaptic terminal; synapse; synaptic transmission; ultrastructure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Clathrin / metabolism
  • Endocytosis*
  • Exocytosis*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Synaptic Vesicles / physiology


  • Actins
  • Clathrin
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Unc13a protein, mouse
  • Calcium