Synaptotagmin 1 (SYT1) acts as a calcium sensor to mediate synchronous calcium-triggered synaptic vesicle exocytosis in neurons. Syt1 deletion in forebrain neurons prevents such transmission and reveals a slower form of neurotransmitter release — asynchronous release — for which the calcium sensor has been unclear. Bacaj et al. show that hippocampal neurons express two calcium-binding SYTs — SYT1 and SYT7 — and that loss of SYT7 in SYT1-deficient neurons suppresses asynchronous release. This could be rescued by SYT7 expression, indicating that SYT7 may act as the second calcium sensor in these neurons.
Bacaj, T. et al. Synaptotagmin-1 and synaptotagmin-7 trigger synchronous and asynchronous phases of neurotransmitter release. Neuron 80, 947–959 (2013)
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Yates, D. The second sensor. Nat Rev Neurosci 15, 5 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn3663