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 Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>