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Synaptic vesicles fuse at active zone (AZ) membranes where Ca(2+) channels are clustered and that are typically decorated by electron-dense projections. Recently, mutants of the Drosophila melanogaster ERC/CAST family protein Bruchpilot (BRP) were shown to lack dense projections (T-bars) and to suffer from Ca(2+) channel-clustering defects. In this study,(More)
Clustering neurotransmitter receptors at the synapse is crucial for efficient neurotransmission. Here we identify a Caenorhabditis elegans locus, lev-10, required for postsynaptic aggregation of ionotropic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs). lev-10 mutants were identified on the basis of weak resistance to the anthelminthic drug levamisole, a nematode-specific(More)
Mutations in two genes encoding the putative kinases LRRK2 and PINK1 have been associated with inherited variants of Parkinson disease. The physiological role of both proteins is not known at present, but studies in model organisms have linked their mutants to distinct aspects of mitochondrial dysfunction, increased vulnerability to oxidative and(More)
Presynaptic nerve terminals are formed from preassembled vesicles that are delivered to the prospective synapse by kinesin-mediated axonal transport. However, precisely how the various cargoes are linked to the motor proteins remains unclear. Here, we report a transport complex linking syntaxin 1a (Stx) and Munc18, two proteins functioning in synaptic(More)
Gephyrin is required for the formation of clusters of the glycine receptor (GlyR) in the neuronal postsynaptic membrane. It can make trimers and dimers through its N- and C-terminal G and E domains, respectively. Gephyrin oligomerization could thus create a submembrane lattice providing GlyR-binding sites. We investigated the relationships between the(More)
At presynaptic active zones (AZs), the frequently observed tethering of synaptic vesicles to an electron-dense cytomatrix represents a process of largely unknown functional significance. Here, we identified a hypomorphic allele, brpnude, lacking merely the last 1% of the C-terminal amino acids (17 of 1740) of the active zone protein Bruchpilot. In brpnude,(More)
Small guanosine triphosphatases of the Rab family regulate intracellular vesicular trafficking. Rab2 is highly expressed in the nervous system, yet its function in neurons is unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, unc-108/rab-2 mutants have been isolated based on their locomotory defects. We show that the locomotion defects of rab-2 mutants are not caused by(More)
The relation of alpha-synuclein (alphaS) aggregation to Parkinson's disease (PD) has long been recognized, but the mechanism of toxicity, the pathogenic species and its molecular properties are yet to be identified. To obtain insight into the function different aggregated alphaS species have in neurotoxicity in vivo, we generated alphaS variants by a(More)
Despite a key role for dense core vesicles (DCVs) in neuronal function, there are major gaps in our understanding of DCV biogenesis. A genetic screen for Caenorhabditis elegans mutants with behavioral defects consistent with impaired DCV function yielded five mutations in UNC-108 (Rab2). A genetic analysis showed that unc-108 mutations impair a DCV function(More)
Synapse formation and maturation requires bidirectional communication across the synaptic cleft. The trans-synaptic Neurexin-Neuroligin complex can bridge this cleft, and severe synapse assembly deficits are found in Drosophila melanogaster neuroligin (Nlg1, dnlg1) and neurexin (Nrx-1, dnrx) mutants. We show that the presynaptic active zone protein Syd-1(More)