Giampietro Schiavo

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Nerve terminals are specific sites of action of a very large number of toxins produced by many different organisms. The mechanism of action of three groups of presynaptic neurotoxins that interfere directly with the process of neurotransmitter release is reviewed, whereas presynaptic neurotoxins acting on ion channels are not dealt with here. These(More)
Clostridial neurotoxins, including tetanus toxin and the seven serotypes of botulinum toxin (A-G), are produced as single chains and cleaved to generate toxins with two chains joined by a single disulphide bond (Fig. 1). The heavy chain (M(r) 100,000 (100K)) is responsible for specific binding to neuronal cells and cell penetration of the light chain (50K),(More)
Degenerative disorders of motor neurons include a range of progressive fatal diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Although the causative genetic alterations are known for some cases, the molecular basis of many SMA and SBMA-like syndromes and most ALS cases is(More)
Vesicular pathways coupling the neuromuscular junction with the motor neuron soma are essential for neuronal function and survival. To characterize the organelles responsible for this long-distance crosstalk, we developed a purification strategy based on a fragment of tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT H(C)) conjugated to paramagnetic beads. This approach enabled us(More)
To define the role of the Rab3-interacting molecule RIM in exocytosis we searched for additional binding partners of the protein. We found that the two C(2) domains of RIM display properties analogous to those of the C(2)B domain of synaptotagmin-I. Thus, RIM-C(2)A and RIM-C(2)B bind in a Ca(2+)-independent manner to alpha1B, the pore-forming subunit of(More)
Neurotransmitter release requires the specific docking of synaptic vesicles to the presynaptic plasma membrane followed by a calcium-triggered fusion event. Herein we report a previously unsuspected interaction of the synaptic vesicle protein and likely calcium sensor synaptotagmin with the plasma membrane t-SNARE SNAP-25. This interaction appears to(More)
ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective motor neuron death resulting in muscle paralysis. Mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) are responsible for a subset of familial cases of ALS. Although evidence from transgenic mice expressing human mutant SOD1(G93A) suggests that axonal transport defects may contribute to ALS(More)
We have used the proteolytic properties of botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins (BoNT, TeNT) to cleave three proteins of the membrane fusion machinery, SNAP-25, VAMP/synaptobrevin, and syntaxin, in developing and differentiated rat central neurons in vitro. Then, we have studied the capacity of neurons to extend neurites, make synapses, and release(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative condition characterized by motoneuron degeneration and muscle paralysis. Although the precise pathogenesis of ALS remains unclear, mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) account for approximately 20-25% of familial ALS cases, and transgenic mice overexpressing human mutant SOD1 develop(More)
Recognition of virus presence via RIG-I (retinoic acid inducible gene I) and/or MDA5 (melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5) initiates a signaling cascade that culminates in transcription of innate response genes such as those encoding the alpha/beta interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) cytokines. It is generally assumed that MDA5 is activated by long(More)