Institute of Biophysics BIOTEC

Dresden, Germany

Institute of Biophysics BIOTEC

Dresden, Germany

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Gomez-Varela D.,Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine | Kohl T.,Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine | Schmidt M.,European Neuroscience Institute | Schmidt M.,Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Research Center for Molecular Physiology of the Brain | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Voltage-gated ion channels are main players involved in fast synaptic events. However, only slow intracellular mechanisms have so far been described for controlling their localization as real-time visualization of endogenous voltage-gated channels at high temporal and spatial resolution has not been achieved yet. Using a specific extracellular antibody and quantum dots we reveal and characterize lateral mobility as a faster mechanism to dynamically control the number of endogenous ether-a-go-go (Eag)1 ion channels inside synapses. We visualize Eag1 entering and leaving synapses by lateral diffusion in the plasma membrane of rat hippocampal neurons. Mathematical analysis of their trajectories revealed how the motion of Eag1 gets restricted when the channels diffuse into the synapse, suggesting molecular interactions between Eag1 and synaptic components. In contrast, Eag1 channels switch to Brownian movement when they exit synapses and diffuse into extrasynaptic membranes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the mobility of Eag1 channels is specifically regulated inside synapses by actin filaments, microtubules and electrical activity. In summary, using single-particle-tracking techniques with quantum dots nanocrystals, our study shows for the first time the lateral diffusion of an endogenous voltage-gated ion channel in neurons. The location-dependent constraints imposed by cytoskeletal elements together with the regulatory role of electrical activity strongly suggest a pivotal role for the mobility of voltage-gated ion channels in synaptic activity. © 2010 Gómez-Varela et al.

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