Molecule key to sustaining brain communication

February 4, 2013

(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.

Explore further: Study brings secrets of brain cell communication closer

Related Stories

Study brings secrets of brain cell communication closer

October 5, 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.

Recommended for you

Biologists identify mechanisms of embryonic wound repair

August 31, 2015

It's like something out of a science-fiction movie - time-lapse photography showing how wounds in embryos of fruit flies heal themselves. The images are not only real; they shed light on ways to improve wound recovery in ...

New 'Tissue Velcro' could help repair damaged hearts

August 28, 2015

Engineers at the University of Toronto just made assembling functional heart tissue as easy as fastening your shoes. The team has created a biocompatible scaffold that allows sheets of beating heart cells to snap together ...

Fertilization discovery: Do sperm wield tiny harpoons?

August 26, 2015

Could the sperm harpoon the egg to facilitate fertilization? That's the intriguing possibility raised by the University of Virginia School of Medicine's discovery that a protein within the head of the sperm forms spiky filaments, ...

Research identifies protein that regulates body clock

August 26, 2015

New research into circadian rhythms by researchers at the University of Toronto Mississauga shows that the GRK2 protein plays a major role in regulating the body's internal clock and points the way to remedies for jet lag ...

0 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.