Synaptic transmission is critically dependent on synaptic vesicle (SV) recycling. Although the precise mechanisms of SV retrieval are still debated, it is widely accepted that a fundamental role is played by clathrin-mediated endocytosis, a form of endocytosis that capitalizes on the clathrin/adaptor protein complex 2 (AP2) coat and several accessory factors. Here, we show that the previously uncharacterized protein KIAA1107, predicted by bioinformatics analysis to be involved in the SV cycle, is an AP2-interacting clathrin-endocytosis protein (APache). We found that APache is highly enriched in the CNS and is associated with clathrin-coated vesicles via interaction with AP2. APache-silenced neurons exhibit a severe impairment of maturation at early developmental stages, reduced SV density, enlarged endosome-like structures, and defects in synaptic transmission, consistent with an impaired clathrin/AP2-mediated SV recycling. Our data implicate APache as an actor in the complex regulation of SV trafficking, neuronal development, and synaptic plasticity. Piccini et al. uncovered the AP2-interacting protein APache that acts in the clathrin-mediated endocytic machinery and synaptic vesicle trafficking. They found that silencing APache impairs neuronal development and neurotransmitter release during repetitive stimulation by markedly reducing vesicle recycling.
Piccini, A., Castroflorio, E., Valente, P., Guarnieri, F. C., Aprile, D., Michetti, C., … Giovedì, S. (2017). APache Is an AP2-Interacting Protein Involved in Synaptic Vesicle Trafficking and Neuronal Development. Cell Reports, 21(12), 3596–3611. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2017.11.073