New paper: Dual-ring SNAREpin machinery tuning for fast neurotransmitter release


Matthieu Caruel

Frédéric Pincet


May 21, 2024

Check out our new paper “Dual-ring SNAREpin machinery tuning for fast neurotransmitter release” that has just been published in Biomolecules. This nice research result has been produced with Frédéric Pincet.


During neurotransmission, neurotransmitters are released less than a millisecond after the arrival of the action potential. To achieve this ultra-fast event, the synaptic vesicle must be pre-docked to the plasma membrane. In this primed state, SNAREpins, the protein-coiled coils whose assembly provides the energy to trigger fusion, are partly zippered and clamped like a hairpin and held open and ready to snap close when the clamp is released. Recently, it was suggested that three types of regulatory factors, synaptophysin, synaptotagmins, and complexins act cooperatively to organize two concentric rings, a central and a peripheral ring, containing up to six SNAREpins each. We used a mechanical model of the SNAREpins with two separate states, half-zippered and fully zippered, and determined the energy landscape according to the number of SNAREpins in each ring. We also performed simulations to estimate the fusion time in each case. The presence of the peripheral SNAREpins generally smoothens the energy landscape and accelerates the fusion time. With the predicted physiological numbers of six central and six peripheral SNAREpins, the fusion time is accelerated at least 100 times by the presence of the peripheral SNAREpins, and fusion occurs in less than 10 μs, which is well within the physiological requirements.


AUTHOR = {Caruel, Matthieu and Pincet, Frédéric},
TITLE = {Dual-Ring SNAREpin Machinery Tuning for Fast Synaptic Vesicle Fusion},
JOURNAL = {Biomolecules},
VOLUME = {14},
YEAR = {2024},
NUMBER = {5},
URL = {},
DOI = {10.3390/biom14050600}
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