Molecule key to sustaining brain communication

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists have discovered the powerful role the molecule Myosin VI plays in communication between nerve cells in the brain.

Researchers at the University of Queensland's (UQ) Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) have found that Myosin VI is integral to maintaining the neurotransmitter release that allows neurons to pass on information to other neurons.

The discovery made by Vanesa Tomatis, a PhD student in Associate Professor Frederic Meunier's laboratory, demonstrates how Myosin VI has the impressive ability to anchor secretory vesicles that are at least 5,000 times greater in size, near their release site.

"By tethering and anchoring secretory granules, Myosin VI helps to maintain an active pool of vesicles near the plasma membrane, which is key to sustaining communication between ," Associate Professor Meunier said.

Associate Professor Meunier and his team are now looking to better understand how the Myosin VI manages to grab and hold vesicles through the use of super resolution microscopy.

They hope the discovery will lead to new ways to reinstate or regulate neuronal communication in various .

The paper was published in The on February 4, 2013.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study brings secrets of brain cell communication closer

Oct 05, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers at The University of Queensland's Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) have taken a significant step towards unravelling the mechanism by which communication between brain cells occurs.

Motors on a mission

Mar 25, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- In a new study, Don Arnold and collaborators show that a microscopic motor drives axonal proteins to the right location in a neuron.

Scientists uncover new mechanism of memory formation

Aug 25, 2010

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a mechanism that plays a critical role in the formation of long-term memory. The findings shed substantial new light on aspects of how memory ...

Recommended for you

Mystery of the reverse-wired eyeball solved

6 hours ago

From a practical standpoint, the wiring of the human eye - a product of our evolutionary baggage - doesn't make a lot of sense. In vertebrates, photoreceptors are located behind the neurons in the back of the eye - resulting ...

Neurons controlling appetite made from skin cells

6 hours ago

Researchers have for the first time successfully converted adult human skin cells into neurons of the type that regulate appetite, providing a patient-specific model for studying the neurophysiology of weight ...

Quality control for adult stem cell treatment

9 hours ago

A team of European researchers has devised a strategy to ensure that adult epidermal stem cells are safe before they are used as treatments for patients. The approach involves a clonal strategy where stem cells are collected ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.