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P/Q-type calcium channels mediate the activity-dependent feedback of syntaxin-1A.

K G Sutton, J E McRory, H Guthrie, T H Murphy, T P Snutch

Nature, 1999 Oct 21 , 401, 800-4

Spatial and temporal changes in intracellular calcium concentrations are critical for controlling gene expression in neurons. In many neurons, activity-dependent calcium influx through L-type channels stimulates transcription that depends on the transcription factor CREB by activating a calmodulin-dependent pathway. Here we show that selective influx of calcium through P/Q-type channels is responsible for activating expression of syntaxin-1A, a presynaptic protein that mediates vesicle docking, fusion and neurotransmitter release. The initial P/Q-type calcium signal is amplified by release of calcium from intracellular stores and acts through phosphorylation that is dependent on the calmodulin-dependent kinase CaM K II/IV, protein kinase A and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase. Initiation of syntaxin-1A expression is rapid and short-lived, with syntaxin-1A ultimately interacting with the P/Q-type calcium channel to decrease channel availability. Our results define an activity-dependent feedback pathway that may regulate synaptic efficacy and function in the nervous system.