Synaptotagmin-12 (Syt12) is an abundant synaptic vesicle protein that-different from other synaptic vesicle-associated synaptotagmins- does not bind Ca2+. Syt12 is phosphorylated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase-A at serine-97 in an activity-dependent manner, suggesting a function for Syt12 in cAMP-dependent synaptic plasticity. To test this hypothesis, we here generated (1) Syt12 knock-out mice and (2) Syt12 knockin mice carrying a single amino-acid substitution [the serine-97-to-alanine- (S97A)-substitution]. Both Syt12 knock-out mice and Syt12 S97A-knockin mice were viable and fertile, and exhibited no measurable change in basal synaptic strength or short-term plasticity as analyzed in cultured cortical neurons or in acute hippocampal slices. However, both Syt12 knock-out and Syt12 S97A-knockin mice displayed a major impairment in cAMP-dependent mossy-fiber long-term potentiation (LTP) in theCA3region of the hippocampus. This impairment was observed using different experimental configurations for inducing and monitoring mossy-fiber LTP. Moreover, although the Syt12 knock-out had no effect on the short-term potentiation of synaptic transmission induced by the adenylate-cyclase activator forskolin in cultured cortical neurons and in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, both the Syt12 knock-out and the Syt12 S97A-knockin impaired the long-term increase in mossy-fiber synaptic transmission induced by forskolin. Thus, Syt12 is essential for cAMP-dependent presynaptic LTP at mossy-fiber synapses, and a single amino-acid substitution that blocks the cAMP-dependent phosphorylation of Syt12 is sufficient to impair the function of Syt12 in mossy-fiber LTP, suggesting that cAMP-dependent phosphorylation of Syt12 on serine-97 contributes to the induction of mossy-fiber LTP.
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