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The Molecular Mechanism of Synchronous Neurotransmitter Release at Synapses

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Air date: Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 3:00:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Views: Total views: 327, (88 Live, 239 On-demand)
Category: WALS - Wednesday Afternoon Lectures
Runtime: 01:22:32
Description: Membrane fusion is a fundamental biological process for organelle formation, nutrient uptake, and the secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters.

Synchronous transmitter release enables neural circuits to keep pace, and results when docked synaptic vesicles are rapidly triggered to fuse with the pre-synaptic plasma membrane by calcium ions entering the nerve terminal. Membrane fusion in the nerve terminal and elsewhere is mediated by SNARE proteins, which assemble between the vesicle and plasma membrane. Biochemical studies have recently established that only two additional synapse-specific proteins—synaptotagmin and complexin—are needed to synchronize release by SNAREs and to add calcium dependence. Complexin cross-links assembling SNAREs into a highly co-operative array, freezing the frame of vesicle fusion to synchronize the readily-releasable pool. Upon binding calcium, Synaptotagmin releases the frozen SNAREs enabling them to rapidly complete assembly and release transmitter at the right time and place.

James Edward Rothman is one of the world’s most distinguished biochemists and cell biologists and renowned for discovering the universal machinery that orchestrates the budding and fusion of membrane vesicles—a process essential to organelle formation, nutrient uptake, and secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters. He studied physics as an undergraduate at Yale and received his Ph.D. degree in biological chemistry from Harvard. He has been a professor at Stanford, Princeton, and Columbia, and founded and chaired the Department of Cellular Biochemistry and Biophysics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Rothman has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his work including the Lasker Basic Science Award (2002), and the Kavli Prize for Neuroscience (2010). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series, colloquially known as WALS, is the highest-profile lecture program at the NIH. Lectures occur on most Wednesdays from September through June from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Building 10 on the NIH Bethesda campus.

Each season includes some of the biggest names in biomedical and behavioral research. The goal of the WALS is to keep NIH researchers abreast of the latest and most important research in the Unites States and beyond. An added treat is the annual J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture, which features top authors and other cultural icons. All speakers are nominated by the NIH community.

For more information, visit:
The NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series
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NLM Title: The molecular mechanism of synchronous neurotransmitter release at synapses [electronic resource] / James E. Rothman.
Series: NIH Wednesday afternoon lecture
Author: Rothman, James E.
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Publisher:
Other Title(s): NIH Wednesday afternoon lecture
Abstract: (CIT): Membrane fusion is a fundamental biological process for organelle formation, nutrient uptake, and the secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters. Synchronous transmitter release enables neural circuits to keep pace, and results when docked synaptic vesicles are rapidly triggered to fuse with the pre-synaptic plasma membrane by calcium ions entering the nerve terminal. Membrane fusion in the nerve terminal and elsewhere is mediated by SNARE proteins, which assemble between the vesicle and plasma membrane. Biochemical studies have recently established that only two additional synapse-specific proteins--synaptotagmin and complexin--are needed to synchronize release by SNAREs and to add calcium dependence. Complexin cross-links assembling SNAREs into a highly co-operative array, freezing the frame of vesicle fusion to synchronize the readily-releasable pool. Upon binding calcium, Synaptotagmin releases the frozen SNAREs enabling them to rapidly complete assembly and release transmitter at the right time and place. James Edward Rothman is one of the world"s most distinguished biochemists and cell biologists and renowned for discovering the universal machinery that orchestrates the budding and fusion of membrane vesicles--a process essential to organelle formation, nutrient uptake, and secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters. He studied physics as an undergraduate at Yale and received his Ph.D. degree in biological chemistry from Harvard. He has been a professor at Stanford, Princeton, and Columbia, and founded and chaired the Department of Cellular Biochemistry and Biophysics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Rothman has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his work including the Lasker Basic Science Award (2002), and the Kavli Prize for Neuroscience (2010). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series, colloquially known as WALS, is the highest-profile lecture program at the NIH. Lectures occur on most Wednesdays from September through June from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Building 10 on the NIH Bethesda campus. Each season includes some of the biggest names in biomedical and behavioral research. The goal of the WALS is to keep NIH researchers abreast of the latest and most important research in the Unites States and beyond. An added treat is the annual J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture, which features top authors and other cultural icons. All speakers are nominated by the NIH community. For more information, visit: The NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series.
Subjects: Molecular Biology--methods
Synapses--genetics
Synaptic Transmission--genetics
Publication Types: Lectures
Webcasts
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Caption Text: Download Caption File
NLM Classification: WL 102.8
NLM ID: 101598221
CIT Live ID: 12033
Permanent link: http://videocast.nih.gov/launch.asp?17661