Presynaptic active zone proteins couple calcium influx with synaptic vesicle exocytosis. However, the control of presynaptic calcium channel clustering by active zone proteins is not completely understood. In a C. elegans forward genetic screen, we find that UNC-10/RIM (Rab3-interacting molecule) and SYD-2/Liprin- regulate presynaptic clustering of UNC-2, the CaV2 channel ortholog. We further quantitatively analyzed live animals using endogenously GFP-tagged UNC-2 and active zone components. Consistent with the interaction between RIM and CaV2 in mammals, the intensity and number of UNC-2 channel clusters at presynaptic terminals were greatly reduced in unc-10 mutant animals. To understand how SYD-2 regulates presynaptic UNC-2 channel clustering, we analyzed presynaptic localization of endogenous SYD-2, UNC-10, RIMB-1/RIM-BP (RIM binding protein), and ELKS-1. Our analysis revealed that while SYD-2 is the most critical for active zone assembly, loss of SYD-2 function does not completely abolish presynaptic localization of UNC-10, RIMB-1, and ELKS-1, suggesting an existence of SYD-2-independent active zone assembly. UNC-2 localization analysis in double and triple mutants of active zone components show that SYD-2 promotes UNC-2 clustering by partially controlling UNC-10 localization, and ELKS-1 and RIMB-1 also contribute to UNC-2 channel clustering. In addition, we find that core active zone proteins are unequal in their abundance. While the abundance of UNC-10 at the active zone is comparable to UNC-2, SYD-2 and ELKS-1 are twice more and RIMB-1 four times more abundant than UNC-2. Together our data show that UNC-10, SYD-2, RIMB-1, and ELKS-1 control presynaptic UNC-2 channel clustering in redundant yet distinct manners.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience