PubMed 21747133

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv12.1

Title: [Molecular mechanism at the presynaptic active zone].

Authors: Toshihisa Ohtsuka

Journal, date & volume: Brain Nerve, 2011 Jul , 63, 641-8

PubMed link:

Our higher brain functions such as learning and memory, emotion, and consciousness depend on the precise regulation of complicated neural networks in the brain. Neurons communicate with each other through the synapse, which comprise 3 regions: the presynapse, synaptic cleft, and postsynapse. The active zone (AZ) beneath the presynaptic membrane is the principal site for Ca2+ -dependent neurotransmitter release: AZ is involved in determining the site for docking and synaptic vesicle fusion. Presently, the full molecular composition of AZ is unclear, but it is known to contain several AZ-specific proteins, including cytomatrix of the active zone-associated protein (CAST)/ERC2, ELKS, RIM1, Munc13-1, Piccolo/Aczonin, and Bassoon. CAST and ELKS are novel active zone proteins that directly bind to Rab3-interacting molecules (RIMs), Bassoon, and Piccolo, and are thought to play a role in neurotransmitter release by binding these to AZ proteins. In this review, current advances in studies on AZ structure and function have been summarized, and the focus is mainly on protein-protein interactions among the AZ proteins.