Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How nerve cells are kept up to speed

Date:
August 4, 2011
Source:
Freie Universitaet Berlin
Summary:
Scientists have unraveled a mechanism involved in the reformation of neurotransmitter containing membrane vesicles in the brain. Perturbations of this reformation process, because of mutations in key proteins such as CALM and AP180, are a possible cause for the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists from the Freie Universität Berlin have identified mechanisms regulating chemical neurotransmission in the nervous system.

Scientists from the Freie Universität Berlin and the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, led by Volker Haucke in collaboration with colleagues from the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) in Berlin, have unravelled a mechanism involved in the reformation of neurotransmitter containing membrane vesicles in the brain. Perturbations of this reformation process, because of mutations in key proteins such as CALM and AP180, are a possible cause for the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

These results were published in the latest online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Signal transmission in the nervous system is mediated by the exocytic release of chemical messengers from synaptic vesicles, small 40 nm sized membrane blebs (a nanometer equals as little as 1/billion of a meter) that are localized to nerve endings at special contact sites between nerve cells termed synapses. In order to maintain neurotransmission over extended periods of time these synaptic vesicles need to be reformed within seconds and with the correct composition.

How synaptobrevin, a key factor in exocytic neurotransmitter release and a target for neurotoxins such as tetanus toxin or the anti-aging compound Botox, is sorted to synaptic vesicles is unknown. Scientists Volker Haucke and his graduate student Seong Joo Koo now have identified two proteins, AP180 and CALM, that recognize a "postal code" within synaptobrevin, thereby guiding its sorting to synaptic vesicles. With the aid of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and biochemical approaches the scientists were able to decode the molecular details of the recognition process and to visualize synaptobrevin sorting in living neurons.

"Our results not only allow us to gain novel fundamental insights into the mechanisms that allow nerve cells to sustain high-frequency signaling without fatiguing, but they may also open new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders," explains NeuroCure scientist Volker Haucke. Human mutations within the protein CALM, a crucial factor mediating sorting of synaptobrevin to synaptic vesicles is implicated in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Freie Universitaet Berlin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. J. Koo, S. Markovic, D. Puchkov, C. C. Mahrenholz, F. Beceren-Braun, T. Maritzen, J. Dernedde, R. Volkmer, H. Oschkinat, V. Haucke. SNARE motif-mediated sorting of synaptobrevin by the endocytic adaptors clathrin assembly lymphoid myeloid leukemia (CALM) and AP180 at synapses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1107067108

Cite This Page:

Freie Universitaet Berlin. "How nerve cells are kept up to speed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110802085830.htm>.
Freie Universitaet Berlin. (2011, August 4). How nerve cells are kept up to speed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110802085830.htm
Freie Universitaet Berlin. "How nerve cells are kept up to speed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110802085830.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins