Association of botulinum neurotoxin serotype a light chain with plasma membrane-bound SNAP-25

Sheng Chen, Joseph T. Barbieri

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cleave SNARE proteins, which inhibit binding and thus fusion of neurotransmitter vesicles to the plasma membrane of peripheral neurons. BoNTs comprise an N-terminal light chain (LC) and C-terminal heavy chain, which are linked by a disulfide bond. There are seven serotypes (A-G) of BoNTs based upon immunological neutralization. Although the binding and entry of BoNT/A into neurons has been subjected to considerable investigation, the intracellular events that allow BoNT/A to efficiently cleave SNAP-25 within neurons is less well understood. Earlier studies showed that intracellular LC/A bound to the plasma membrane of neurons. In this study, intracellular LC/A is shown to directly bind SNAP-25 on the plasma membrane. Solid phase binding showed that the N-terminal residues of LC/A bound residues 80-110 of SNAP-25, which was also observed in cultured neurons. Association of the N-terminal 8 amino acids of LC/A and residues 80-110 of SNAP-25 also enhanced substrate cleavage. These findings explain how LC/A associates with SNAP-25 on the plasma membrane and provide a basis for LC/A cleavage of SNAP-25 within the SNARE complex.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15067-15072
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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