synapsins are a family of proteins that have long been implicated in the regulation of neurotransmitter release at synapses. Specifically, they are thought to be involved in regulating the number of synaptic vesicles available for release via exocytosis at any one time. Synapsins are present in [2 ] invertebrates and vertebrates and are somewhat homologous across evaluated vertebrates.
Current studies suggest the following hypothesis for the role of synapsin: synapsins bind synaptic vesicles to components of the
cytoskeleton which prevents them from migrating to the presynaptic membrane and releasing neurotransmitter. During an action potential, synapsins are phosphorylated by PKA (cAMP dependent protein kinase), releasing the synaptic vesicles and allowing them to move to the membrane and release their neurotransmitter.
Gene knockout studies in mice (where the mouse is unable to produce synapsin) have had some surprising results. Mice lacking all three synapsins are prone to seizures, and experience learning defects. These results suggest that while synapsins are not essential for synaptic function, they do serve an important modulatory role. Conversely, studies using [3 ] transgenic mice in which neuronal signaling is abolished in specific circuitries showed that synaptic activity regulates, but is not essential to maintain, the expression of these proteins. [4 ]
Family members [ edit ]
Humans and most other
vertebrates possess three genes encoding three different synapsin proteins. Each gene in turn is [5 ] alternatively spliced to produce at least two different protein isoforms for a total of six isoforms: [6 ]
Different neuron terminals will express varying amounts of each of these synapsin proteins and collectively these synapsins will comprise 1% of the total expressed protein at any one time.
Synapsin Ia has been implicated in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. [7 ] [8 ]
References [ edit ]
^ Esser L, Wang CR, Hosaka M, Smagula CS, Südhof TC, Deisenhofer J (February 1998). "Synapsin I is structurally similar to ATP-utilizing enzymes". EMBO J. 17 (4): 977–84. doi: 10.1093/emboj/17.4.977. PMC 1170447. PMID 9463376.
^ Evergren E, Benfenati F, Shupliakov O (September 2007). "The synapsin cycle: a view from the synaptic endocytic zone". J. Neurosci. Res. 85 (12): 2648–56. doi: 10.1002/jnr.21176. PMID 17455288.
^ Rosahl TW, Geppert M, Spillane D, Herz J, Hammer RE, Malenka RC, Sudhof TC (1993). "Short-term synaptic plasticity is altered in mice lacking synapsin I". Cell 75 (4): 661–670. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(93)90487-B. PMID 7902212.
^ Kihara AH, Santos TO, Paschon V, Matos RJ, Britto LR (2008). "Lack of photoreceptor signaling alters the expression of specific synaptic proteins in the retina". Neuroscience 151 (4): 995–1005. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2007.09.088. PMID 18248909.
^ Kao HT, Porton B, Hilfiker S, Stefani G, Pieribone VA, DeSalle R, Greengard P (December 1999). "Molecular evolution of the synapsin gene family". J. Exp. Zool. 285 (4): 360–77. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-010X(19991215)285:4<360::AID-JEZ4>3.0.CO;2-3. PMID 10578110.
^ Gitler D, Xu Y, Kao HT, Lin D, Lim S, Feng J, Greengard P, Augustine GJ (April 2004). "Molecular determinants of synapsin targeting to presynaptic terminals". J. Neurosci. 24 (14): 3711–20. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5225-03.2004. PMID 15071120.
^ Ferreira A, Rapoport M (April 2002). "The synapsins: beyond the regulation of neurotransmitter release". Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 59 (4): 589–95. doi: 10.1007/s00018-002-8451-5. PMID 12022468.
^ Vawter, MP; et al. (April 2002). "Reduction of synapsin in the hippocampus of patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia". Mol. Psychiatry 7 (6): 571–8. doi: 10.1038/sj.mp.4001158. PMID 12140780.