Munc18-1 redistributes in nerve terminals in an activity- and PKC-dependent manner.
Cijsouw T, Weber JP, Broeke JH, Broek JA, Schut D, Kroon T, Saarloos I, Verhage M, Toonen RF.
Munc18-1 is a soluble protein essential for synaptic transmission. To investigate the dynamics of endogenous Munc18-1 in neurons, we created a mouse model expressing fluorescently tagged Munc18-1 from the endogenous munc18-1 locus. We show using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching in hippocampal neurons that the majority of Munc18-1 trafficked through axons and targeted to synapses via lateral diffusion together with syntaxin-1. Munc18-1 was strongly expressed at presynaptic terminals, with individual synapses showing a large variation in expression. Axon-synapse exchange rates of Munc18-1 were high: during stimulation, Munc18-1 rapidly dispersed from synapses and reclustered within minutes. Munc18-1 reclustering was independent of syntaxin-1, but required calcium influx and protein kinase C (PKC) activity. Importantly, a PKC-insensitive Munc18-1 mutant did not recluster. We show that synaptic Munc18-1 levels correlate with synaptic strength, and that synapses that recruit more Munc18-1 after stimulation have a larger releasable vesicle pool. Hence, PKC-dependent dynamic control of Munc18-1 levels enables individual synapses to tune their output during periods of activity.