Download Full Text (584 KB)
alcohol, secondary structure, protein, circular dichroism
Alcohol has been consumed by humans for thousands of years and has a known inhibitory effect on neurotransmission. Here we explore the effect of ethanol on the folding of SNARE proteins known to drive neurotransmitter release (exocytosis) in neurons. The SNARE proteins SNAP‐25, syntaxin, and VAMP provide the four helical regions (SNARE domains) that form a coiled-coil complex required for exocytosis. This complex is continually formed and unwound as exocytotic vesicles fuse and are recycled.
Circular Dichroism was used to measure secondary structure of SNAP-25’s first SNARE domain SN1. We observed an increase in α-helical structure followed by precipitation as a ß-sheet when ethanol (EtOH) is added. This is similar to the helical shift observed when SNAP-25 forms a complex with syntaxin and VAMP. These data show that ethanol may induce some of its effects by altering the SNARE fusion machine, consequently playing a role in decreasing neurotransmitter release.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Shumway, Samuel W.; Parsons, Mark T.; Coffman, Robert E.; and Woodbury, Dixon J., "Measuring Alcohol-Induced Secondary Structure Changes of SNAP-25A" (2020). Library/Life Sciences Undergraduate Poster Competition 2020. 17.
Microbiology and Molecular Biology
Copyright Use Information