Ucheor B. Choi

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Syntaxin/SNAP-25 interactions precede assembly of the ternary SNARE complex that is essential for neurotransmitter release. This binary complex has been difficult to characterize by bulk methods because of the prevalence of a 2:1 dead-end species. Here, using single-molecule fluorescence, we find the structure of the 1:1 syntaxin/SNAP-25 binary complex is(More)
Synchronous neurotransmission is triggered when Ca(2+) binds to synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1), a synaptic-vesicle protein that interacts with SNAREs and membranes. We used single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between synaptotagmin's two C2 domains to determine that their conformation consists of multiple states with occasional transitions,(More)
Synaptotagmin-1 and neuronal SNARE proteins have central roles in evoked synchronous neurotransmitter release; however, it is unknown how they cooperate to trigger synaptic vesicle fusion. Here we report atomic-resolution crystal structures of Ca(2+)- and Mg(2+)-bound complexes between synaptotagmin-1 and the neuronal SNARE complex, one of which was(More)
Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) participate in critical cellular functions that exploit the flexibility and rapid conformational fluctuations of their native state. Limited information about the native state of IDPs can be gained by the averaging over many heterogeneous molecules that is unavoidable in ensemble approaches. We used single molecule(More)
Microscopy-based fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments measure donor and acceptor intensities by isolating these signals with a series of optical elements. Because this filtering discards portions of the spectrum, the observed FRET efficiency is dependent on the set of filters in use. Similarly, observed FRET efficiency is also affected(More)
The NMDA-sensitive glutamate receptor is a ligand-gated ion channel that mediates excitatory synaptic transmission in the nervous system. Extracellular zinc allosterically regulates the NMDA receptor by binding to the extracellular N-terminal domain, which inhibits channel gating. Phosphorylation of the intrinsically disordered intracellular C-terminal(More)
Complexin regulates spontaneous and activates Ca(2+)-triggered neurotransmitter release, yet the molecular mechanisms are still unclear. Here we performed single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments and uncovered two conformations of complexin-1 bound to the ternary SNARE complex. In the cis conformation, complexin-1 induces a(More)
Multidomain scaffold proteins serve as hubs in the signal transduction network. By physically colocalizing sequential steps in a transduction pathway, scaffolds catalyze and direct incoming signals. Much is known about binary interactions with individual domains, but it is unknown whether "scaffolding activity" is predictable from pairwise affinities. Here,(More)
NMDA receptors are ligand-gated ion channels with a regulatory intracellular C-terminal domain (CTD). In GluN2B, the CTD is the largest domain in the protein but is intrinsically disordered. The GluN2B subunit is the major tyrosine-phosphorylated protein in synapses. Src kinase phosphorylates the GluN2B CTD, but it is unknown how this affects channel(More)
Sec1/Munc18 (SM) proteins are essential for membrane trafficking, but their molecular mechanism remains unclear. Using a single vesicle-vesicle content-mixing assay with reconstituted neuronal SNAREs, synaptotagmin-1, and complexin-1, we show that the neuronal SM protein Munc18a/nSec1 has no effect on the intrinsic kinetics of both spontaneous fusion and(More)