Nerve terminals release neurotransmitters from vesicles into the synaptic cleft upon transient increases in intracellular Ca 2 �. This exocytotic process requires the formation of trans SNARE complexes and is regulated by accessory proteins including the complexins. Here we report the crystal structure of a squid core complexin-SNARE complex at 2.95-Å resolution. A helical segment of complexin binds in anti-parallel fashion to the four-helix bundle of the core SNARE complex and interacts at its C terminus with syntaxin and synaptobrevin around the ionic zero layer of the SNARE complex. We propose that this structure is part of a multiprotein fusion machinery that regulates vesicle fusion at a late pre-fusion stage. Accordingly, Ca 2 � may initiate membrane fusion by acting directly or indirectly o
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