Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New regulator discovered for information transfer in the brain

20.06.2013
The protein mSYD1 has a key function in transmitting information between neurons. This was recently discovered by the research group of Prof Peter Scheiffele at the Biozentrum, University of Basel. The findings of the investigations have been published in the scientific journal “Neuron”.

Synapses are the most important sites of information transfer between neurons. The functioning of our brain is based on the ability of the synapses to release neurotransmitter substances in a fraction of a second, so that neuronal signals can be rapidly propagated and integrated.


Neuron with synaptic contacts.
(Image: Biozentrum)

Peter Scheiffele’s team has now identified a new mechanism, which ensures that synaptic vesicles, the carrier of the transmitter substances, are concentrated at their designated place, thereby contributing to rapid signal transmission.

mSYD1 as organizer of synaptic structures
The speed and precision of synaptic transmission is based on a highly complex protein apparatus in the synapse. A concentration of synaptic vesicles is found at the synaptic contact sites between neurons. When a nerve cell is activated, vesicles fuse with the edge of the synapse, the so-called active zone, and send neurotransmitters to the neighboring cells.

Peter Scheiffele’s research group has now identified a previously unknown protein called mSYD1, which regulates the deposition of the vesicles at the active zone. In nerve cells, in which no mSYD1 protein is present, synaptic contacts continue to be formed but the accumulation of the synaptic vesicles at the active zone is disrupted. This results in a significant reduction of synaptic transmission.

Inactive mSYD1 in autistic disorders
These findings provide important new insights into the mechanisms underlying the formation of functional neuronal networks. In patients with a developmental disorder belonging the autism spectrum, mSYD1 is one of a group of genes that are inactivated. In further investigations, the research group is now looking at how the inactivation of mSYD1 affects the behavior of mice, in order to gain insights into the fundamental neuronal defects associated with autism.

Original Citation
Corinna Wentzel, Julia Sommer, Ramya Nair, Adeline Stiefvater, Jean-Baptiste Sibarita, and Peter Scheiffele (2013)
mSYD1A, a Mammalian Synapse-Defective-1 Protein, Regulates Synaptogenic Signaling and Vesicle Docking.
Neuron; Published online June 19, 2013.

Further Information
Prof. Dr. Peter Scheiffele, Biozentrum, University of Basel, phone: +41 61 267 21 94, Email: peter.scheiffele@unibas.ch

Christoph Dieffenbacher | Universität Basel
Further information:
http://www.unibas.ch

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>