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Identification of a key molecule for the neurotransmitter release in synapses

04:47 EDT 4 Sep 2017 | Medical Xpress

The contact areas between nerve cells are called synapses. What happens there lies at the heart of communication between nerve cells. Communication starts with the release of chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters at these synapses. Neurotransmitter-containing synaptic vesicles are involved in this release process, and these vesicles fuse with the cell membrane. This fusion occurs at a specific location within the synapse rather than just anywhere at random. Scientists working at the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) and their colleagues at the Freie Universität Berlin (FU) succeeded in identifying the molecule, which determines where in the synaptic gap neurotransmitters are released. This solves a great mystery in neuroscience. The results contribute to a better understanding of synaptic transmission and may in future improve our ability to explain pathological processes in the nervous system. Recently, the scientists published their groundbreaking scientific results in the renowned science magazine Neuron.

Original Article: Identification of a key molecule for the neurotransmitter release in synapses

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