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.

Related Stories

Study brings secrets of brain cell communication closer

date 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

date 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

date 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

Why you need one vaccine for measles and many for the flu

date 19 hours ago

While the influenza virus mutates constantly and requires a yearly shot that offers a certain percentage of protection, old reliable measles needs only a two-dose vaccine during childhood for lifelong immunity. ...

Scientists turn blood into neural cells

date 19 hours ago

Scientists at McMaster University have discovered how to make adult sensory neurons from human patients simply by having them roll up their sleeve and providing a blood sample.

How our gut changes across the life course

date 21 hours ago

Scientists and clinicians on the Norwich Research Park have carried out the first detailed study of how our intestinal tract changes as we age, and how this determines our overall health.

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.