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J Biol Chem. 1996 Mar 29;271(13):7265-8.

Phosphorylation of Munc-18/n-Sec1/rbSec1 by protein kinase C: its implication in regulating the interaction of Munc-18/n-Sec1/rbSec1 with syntaxin.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Osaka University Medical School, Suita, Japan.


Munc-18/n-Sec1/rbSec1 interacts with syntaxin and this interaction inhibits the association of vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP)/synaptobrevin and synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25) with syntaxin. Syntaxin, VAMP, and SNAP-25 serve as soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein (SNAP) receptors essential for docking and/or fusion of synaptic vesicles with the presynaptic plasma membrane. Genetic analyses in yeast, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Drosophila suggest that Munc-18 is essential for vesicle transport. On the other hand, protein kinase C (PKC) stimulates Ca2+-dependent exocytosis in various types of secretory cells. However, the modes of action of Munc-18 and PKC in vesicle transport have not been clarified. Here, we show that recombinant Munc-18 is phosphorylated by conventional PKC in a Ca2+- and phospholipid-dependent manner in a cell-free system. About 1 mol of phosphate is maximally incorporated into 1 mol of Munc-18. The major phosphorylation sites are Ser306 and Ser313. The Munc-18 complexed with syntaxin is not phosphorylated. The PKC-catalyzed phosphorylation of Munc-18 inhibits its interaction with syntaxin. These results suggest that the PKC-catalyzed phosphorylation of Munc-18 plays an important role in regulating the interaction of Munc-18 with syntaxin and thereby the docking and/or the fusion of synaptic vesicles with the presynaptic plasma membrane.

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