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Eckart Gundelfinger"Chemical synapses of the central nervous system: Assembly and molecular organization of the active zone of neurotransmitter release"

Abstract :


C
hemical synapses release their neurotransmitter at restricted sites of the presynaptic cell membrane – the active zones, which are positioned exactly opposite to the postsynaptic neurotransmitter reception apparatus. At active zones, synaptic vesicles dock, fuse with the presynaptic membrane in response to calcium influx and then are rapidly retrieved and refilled. This cycle of membrane trafficking events is organized by a complex electron-dense meshwork of proteins assembled at the active zones.
With Bassoon and Piccolo we have identified and characterized two related proteins that are exquisitely localized at neurotransmitter release sites and are thought to serve as major scaffolding elements of the presynaptic cytomatrix. In the seminar I will discuss how we have used Bassoon and Piccolo to monitor assembly mechanisms of the active zone during synaptogenesis. Moreover, I will report on comparative studies on conventional brain synapses and ribbon synapses in retinal photoreceptors and inner ear hair cells, which have provided novel insights into the molecular organization of neurotransmitter release sites.

 

Selected publications

Li KW, Hornshaw MP, van Minnen J, Smalla KH, Gundelfinger ED, Smit AB.
Organelle Proteomics of Rat Synaptic Proteins: Correlation-Profiling by Isotope-Coded Affinity Tagging in Conjunction with Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry to Reveal Post-synaptic Density Specific Proteins.
J Proteome Res. 2005 Jun 13;4(3):725-733.
Bernstein HG, Blazejczyk M, Rudka T, Gundelfinger ED, Dobrowolny H, Bogerts B, Kreutz MR, Kuznicki J, Wojda U.
The Alzheimer disease-related calcium-binding protein Calmyrin is present in human forebrain with an altered distribution in Alzheimer's as compared to normal ageing brains.
Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2005 Jun;31(3):314-24.
Khimich D, Nouvian R, Pujol R, Tom Dieck S, Egner A, Gundelfinger ED, Moser T.
Hair cell synaptic ribbons are essential for synchronous auditory signalling.
Nature. 2005 Apr 14;434(7035):889-94.

Daniel Choquet