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Inhibitors of synaptic vesicle exocytosis reduce surface expression of postsynaptic glutamate receptors

Woo, D;Hur, Y;Jang, M;Justin Lee, C;Park, M;

Bafilomycin A1, a vacuolar H+-ATPase inhibitor, and botulinum toxin B and tetanus toxin, both vesicle fusion inhibitors, are widely known exocytosis blockers that have been used to inhibit the presynaptic release of neurotransmitters. However, protein trafficking mechanisms, such as the insertion of postsynaptic receptors and astrocytic glutamate-releasing channels into the plasma membrane, also require exocytosis. In our previous study, exocytosis inhibitors reduced the surface expression of astrocytic glutamate-releasing channels. Here, we further investigated whether exocytosis inhibitors influence the surface expression of postsynaptic receptors. Using pH-sensitive superecliptic pHluorin (SEP)-tagged postsynaptic glutamate receptors, including GluA1, GluA2, GluN1, and GluN2A, we found that bafilomycin A1, botulinum toxin B, and/or tetanus toxin reduce the SEP fluorescence of SEP-GluA1, SEP-GluA2, SEP-GluN1, and SEP-GluN2A. These findings indicate that presynaptic vesicle exocytosis inhibitors also affect the postsynaptic trafficking machinery for surface expression. Finally, this study provides profound insights assembling presynaptic, postsynaptic and astrocytic viewpoints into the interpretation of the data obtained using these synaptic vesicle exocytosis inhibitors.