Interactive nanocluster compaction of the ELKS scaffold and Cacophony Ca2+ channels drives sustained active zone potentiation
Tina Ghelani, Marc Escher, Ulrich Thomas, Klara Esch, Janine Lützkendorf, Harald Depner, Marta Maglione, Pierre Parutto, Scott Gratz, Tanja Matkovic-Rachid, Stefanie Ryglewski, Alexander M. Walter, David Holcman, Kate O‘Connor Giles, Martin Heine, Stephan J. Sigrist
Ca2+-Channels, Active Zone
At presynaptic active zones (AZs), conserved scaffold protein architectures control synaptic vesicle (SV) release by defining the nanoscale distribution and density of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs). While AZs can potentiate SV release in the minutes range, we lack an understanding of how AZ scaffold components and VGCCs engage into potentiation. We here establish dynamic, intravital single-molecule imaging of endogenously tagged proteins at Drosophila AZs undergoing presynaptic homeostatic potentiation. During potentiation, the numbers of α1 VGCC subunit Cacophony (Cac) increased per AZ, while their mobility decreased and nanoscale distribution compacted. These dynamic Cac changes depended on the interaction between Cac channel’s intracellular carboxyl terminus and the membrane-close amino-terminal region of the ELKS-family protein Bruchpilot, whose distribution compacted drastically. The Cac-ELKS/Bruchpilot interaction was also needed for sustained AZ potentiation. Our single-molecule analysis illustrates how the AZ scaffold couples to VGCC nanoscale distribution and dynamics to establish a state of sustained potentiation.