A specific group of brain proteins is essential to activate communication between neurons, and without this group of proteins all functions of the central nervous system are disrupted, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered.
Dr. Thomas Südhof and his collaborators have discovered that a group of specialized proteins, in mice, is essential for communication between neurons. Without this group of proteins, all components of the central nervous system are disrupted
The disruption of this specialized group of proteins, called alpha-Neurexins, causes severe interruption of synaptic transmission, which is essential for neurons to communicate in the central nervous system. Synapses are specialized junctions where neurons communicate with target cells.
The study findings, which were discovered in mice and published in todays issue of Nature, expand the knowledge of the process of synaptic transmission and gives scientists new insight into how the brain works. Gaining a fundamental understanding of brain function is critical in order to eventually counter the degenerative effects of neurological diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases and schizophrenia, said Dr. Thomas Südhof, director of both the Center for Basic Neuroscience and the C. Vincent Prothro Center for Research in Basic Neuroscience at UT Southwestern and the studys senior author.
Amy Shields | EurekAlert!
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