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

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

Clues to curbing obesity found in neuronal 'sweet spot'

7 hours ago

Preventing weight gain, obesity, and ultimately diabetes could be as simple as keeping a nuclear receptor from being activated in a small part of the brain, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine ...

Small RNAs in blood may reveal heart injury

17 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Like clues to a crime, specific molecules in the body can hint at exposure to toxins, infectious agents or even trauma, and so help doctors determine whether and how to treat a patient. ...

User comments