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Neurotransmitter release at synapses between nerve cells is mediated by calcium-triggered exocytotic fusion of synaptic vesicles. Before fusion, vesicles dock at the presynaptic release site where they mature to a fusion-competent state. Here we identify Munc13-1, a brain-specific presynaptic phorbol ester receptor, as an essential protein for synaptic(More)
Neuroligins enhance synapse formation in vitro, but surprisingly are not required for the generation of synapses in vivo. We now show that in cultured neurons, neuroligin-1 overexpression increases excitatory, but not inhibitory, synaptic responses, and potentiates synaptic NMDAR/AMPAR ratios. In contrast, neuroligin-2 overexpression increases inhibitory,(More)
Synaptotagmins (Syts) are brain-specific Ca2+/phospholipid-binding proteins. In hippocampal synapses, Syt I is essential for fast Ca(2+)-dependent synaptic vesicle exocytosis but not for Ca(2+)-independent exocytosis. In vertebrates and invertebrates, Syt may therefore participate in Ca(2+)-dependent synaptic membrane fusion, either by serving as the Ca2+(More)
Synaptic neurotransmitter release is restricted to active zones, where the processes of synaptic vesicle tethering, priming to fusion competence, and Ca2+-triggered fusion are taking place in a highly coordinated manner. We show that the active zone components Munc13-1, an essential vesicle priming protein, and RIM1, a Rab3 effector with a putative role in(More)
Synaptogenesis, the generation and maturation of functional synapses between nerve cells, is an essential step in the development of neuronal networks in the brain. It is thought to be triggered by members of the neuroligin family of postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins, which may form transsynaptic contacts with presynaptic alpha- and beta-neurexins and(More)
Quantal neurotransmitter release at excitatory synapses depends on glutamate import into synaptic vesicles by vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs). Of the three known transporters, VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 are expressed prominently in the adult brain, but during the first two weeks of postnatal development, VGLUT2 expression predominates. Targeted deletion of(More)
Neurons release neurotransmitters by calcium-dependent exocytosis of synaptic vesicles. However, the molecular steps transducing the calcium signal into membrane fusion are still an enigma. It is reported here that synaptotagmin, a highly conserved synaptic vesicle protein, binds calcium at physiological concentrations in a complex with negatively charged(More)
In all synapses, Ca2+ triggers neurotransmitter release to initiate signal transmission. Ca2+ presumably acts by activating synaptic Ca2+ sensors, but the nature of these sensors--which are the gatekeepers to neurotransmission--remains unclear. One of the candidate Ca2+ sensors in release is the synaptic Ca2+-binding protein synaptotagmin I. Here we have(More)
At the synapse, presynaptic membranes specialized for vesicular traffic are linked to postsynaptic membranes specialized for signal transduction. The mechanisms that connect pre- and postsynaptic membranes into synaptic junctions are unknown. Neuroligins and beta-neurexins are neuronal cell-surface proteins that bind to each other and form asymmetric(More)
Munc13-1, a mammalian homolog of C. elegans unc-13p, is thought to be involved in the regulation of synaptic transmission. We now demonstrate that Munc13-1 is a presynaptic high-affinity phorbol ester and diacylglycerol receptor with ligand affinities similar to those of protein kinase C. Munc13-1 associates with the plasma membrane in response to phorbol(More)