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Bruchpilot Promotes Active Zone Assembly, Ca2+ Channel Clustering, and Vesicle Release

Science  19 May 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5776, pp. 1051-1054
DOI: 10.1126/science.1126308

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Abstract

The molecular organization of presynaptic active zones during calcium influx–triggered neurotransmitter release is the focus of intense investigation. The Drosophila coiled-coil domain protein Bruchpilot (BRP) was observed in donut-shaped structures centered at active zones of neuromuscular synapses by using subdiffraction resolution STED (stimulated emission depletion) fluorescence microscopy. At brp mutant active zones, electron-dense projections (T-bars) were entirely lost, Ca2+ channels were reduced in density, evoked vesicle release was depressed, and short-term plasticity was altered. BRP-like proteins seem to establish proximity between Ca2+ channels and vesicles to allow efficient transmitter release and patterned synaptic plasticity.

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