Freiburg neurobiologists elucidate the spatial and temporal dynamics of specific glutamate receptors in the brain
Dr. Uwe Schulte, Dr. Jochen Schwenk, Prof. Dr. Bernd Fakler, and their team have elucidated the enormous spatial and temporal dynamics in protein composition of the AMPA-type glutamate receptors, the most important excitatory neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. These receptors are located in the synapses, the contact points between two nerve cells, where they are responsible for the rapid signal transduction and information processing. The results illustrate that the receptors are far more diverse than previously anticipated and pave the way for research into their functions in the various regions of the brain. The biologists published their findings in the journal Neuron.
The researchers have thus opened up the possibility to investigate the properties and functions of the AMPA receptors in the various regions of the brain at the level of their protein components.
This is of particular significance as the AMPA receptors and their dynamics are regarded as central elements for memory formation. The researchers succeeded in elucidating the subunit structure of the AMPA receptors in various regions of the brain and even in different groups of distinct nerve cells.
It became clear that the receptors exhibit an enormous range of variation in structure and molecular architecture and can evidently be precisely adapted to the function of the nerve cells and brain region in which they are located. In addition, the researchers demonstrated that this diversity in protein composition of the receptors is also exploited during the development of the brain.
In 2012, Fakler’s research team already used novel proteomic technologies to show that AMPA receptors in the brain are assembled from a pool of more than 30 different proteins - whose primary function(s) is are most parts as yet unknown.
In fact in another recent study, also published in Neuron, the researchers demonstrated just how significant these unknown components are or can be: They showed that the cornichon protein dictates the time course of the AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and thus accounts for the difference between various types of nerve cells in the brain.
Uwe Schulte, Jochen Schwenk, and Bernd Fakler conduct their research at the Institute of Physiology and at the Cluster of Excellence BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies of the University of Freiburg.
Rudolf-Werner Dreier | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter
An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News