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Latest Chemical synapse Stories

2009-09-03 15:29:30

As part of the intricate ballet of synaptic transmission from one neuron to the next, tiny vesicles "“ bubbles containing the chemical neurotransmitters that make information exchange possible"”travel to the tip of neurons (synapses), where they fuse with the cell's membrane (a process called exocytosis). The extra membrane is then captured in a process called endocytosis and recycled to form a new vesicle to enable the next cycle of release. Most important, exocytosis must be...

2009-08-20 11:55:00

Success in soccer sometimes comes with "bending it like Beckham." Success in cellular fusion "” as occurs at the moment of conception and when nerve cells exchange neurotransmitters "” requires that a membrane be bent before the merging process can begin, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have shown.The scientists offer the first concrete evidence that a protein called synaptotagmin plays a critical role in initiating fusion by bending a section of a target membrane. The...

2009-07-29 14:31:00

Recycling is a critical component in the process of transmitting information from one neuron to the next, and a large protein called Tweek plays a critical role, said an international consortium of researchers led by Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) in a report in the current issue of the journal Neuron.Fruit flies that lack the protein, named for the over-caffeinated character in the cartoon South Park, shake in a hyperactive manner, said Dr. Hugo Bellen, professor of molecular and...

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2009-07-21 11:50:00

Every time a neuron sends a signal "“ to move a muscle or form a memory, for example "“ tiny membrane-bound compartments, called vesicles, dump neurotransmitters into the synapse between the cells. Researchers report that this process, which is fundamental to the workings of the nervous system, relies on a simple mechanical reality: Tension in the axon of the presynaptic neuron is required.Without this tension, the researchers found, the vesicles that must haul their chemical...

2009-07-13 10:30:00

In the brain, many types of synaptic proteins are spatio-temporally regulated to maintain synaptic activity at a constant level. Here, the Japanese research group led by Professor Masaki Fukata, Drs. Yuko Fukata and Jun Noritake in National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Japan, found that two types of palmitoylating enzymes finely-tune the location and function of a major synaptic protein, PSD-95, in different ways. They also found that this mechanism contributes to keeping synaptic...

2009-06-22 15:35:10

U.S. scientists have determined a protein called neuroligin, implicated in some forms of autism, is critical to the construction of a working synapse. University of California-Davis researchers said they not only discovered neuroligin locks neurons together like molecular Velcro, but they obtained images that are the first to show two neurons coming together, using neuroligin to construct a new synapse. Previous research has suggested that neuroligin is critical for the formation and...

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2009-06-18 15:07:49

The ability to learn and to establish new memories is essential to our daily existence and identity; enabling us to navigate through the world. A new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), McGill University and University of California, Los Angeles has captured an image for the first time of a mechanism, specifically protein translation, which underlies long-term memory formation. The finding provides the first visual evidence that when a new...

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2009-06-18 07:35:00

A protein called neuroligin that is implicated in some forms of autism is critical to the construction of a working synapse, locking neurons together like "molecular Velcro," a study lead by a team of UC Davis researchers has found. Published online in the June issue of the journal Neural Development, the study is accompanied by groundbreaking images that are the first to show two neurons coming together using neuroligin to construct a new synapse. "Previous research has suggested that...

2009-06-15 07:39:25

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have discovered how the mutated huntingtin gene acts on the nervous system to create the devastation of Huntington's disease. The report of their findings is available in Nature Neuroscience online.The researchers were able to show that the mutated huntingtin gene activates a particular enzyme, called JNK3, which is expressed only in neurons and, further, to show what effect activation of that enzyme has on neuron...

2009-06-04 11:48:25

U.S. neuroscientists say they have determined a signaling protein linked to mental retardation also controls synapse maturation and plasticity. Researchers at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory demonstrated the mechanism by which the protein oligophrenin-1 controls the maturation and strength of excitatory synapses, the tiny gaps across which the majority of neurons communicate. The scientists said their discovery is important, in part because deficits of that signaling protein have been...


Word of the Day
abrosia
  • Wasting away as a result of abstinence from food.
The word 'abrosia' comes from a Greek roots meaning 'not' and 'eating'.