Essential function of α-calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II in neurotransmitter release at a glutamatergic central synapse

Academic Article


  • A significant fraction of the total calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) activity in neurons is associated with synaptic connections and is present in nerve terminals, thus suggesting a role for CaMKII in neurotransmitter release. To determine whether CaMKII regulates neurotransmitter release, we generated and analyzed knockout mice in which the dominant α-isoform of CaMKII was specifically deleted from the presynaptic side of the CA3-CA1 hippocampal synapse. Conditional CA3 α-CaMKII knock-out mice exhibited an unchanged basal probability of neurotransmitter release at CA3-CA1 synapses but showed a significant enhancement in the activity-dependent increase in probability of release during repetitive presynaptic stimulation, as was shown with the analysis of unitary synaptic currents. These data indicate that α-CaMKII serves as a negative activity-dependent regulator of neurotransmitter release at hippocampal synapses and maintains synapses in an optimal range of release probabilities necessary for normal synaptic operation.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hinds HL; Goussakov I; Nakazawa K; Tonegawa S; Bolshakov VY
  • Start Page

  • 4275
  • End Page

  • 4280
  • Volume

  • 100
  • Issue

  • 7