Navigation Links
Protein receptor cools passion of 'kiss and run' nerve cells

A new subtlety in the process of how the body's nervous system relays information may hinge on how "wet" the "kiss" is when one neuron fires a packet of neurotransmitter across a synapse to a receptive nerve cell.

A team of neuroscientists led by University of Illinois at Chicago biology professor Simon Alford report the finding in the March 14 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Until recently, the neuroscience field was solidly behind the idea that these little packets, or vesicles, either released all or none of their neurotransmitter into the synaptic cleft," said Alford. "We've identified a specific molecular mechanism that targets the machinery that causes the fusion process and found that instead of an all-or-none release, the vesicle just kisses the cell's presynaptic membrane. Neuroscientists call it 'kiss and run.' When it does it, our lab has now shown that only a little bit of neurotransmitter is released.

"This is important for the cell because it implies that we can change the degree of information that's passed through the synapse every time it's fired," said Alford.

The process involves a receptor protein on a pre-synaptic nerve cell -- the side that fires the packet of neurotransmitter -- that is affected by 5-hydroxytryptamine, or 5-HT, a body chemical often associated with mood. When 5-HT binds to this cell receptor, it activates something called a G protein that is made of two subunits -- one called alpha, the other beta-gamma. When these subunits are released, they activate the next step in a chain of events that move signal information through the nerve cell.

Alford's lab previously discovered that the beta-gamma subunit affects the molecular machinery that causes release of neurotransmitter -- the amino acid glutamate.

"It's very fast," said Alford. "You turn on a G protein, and it immediately targets the mechanism to modify release."

On the receiving cell, the p ost-synaptic side, there is a range of protein receptors that vary in sensitivity to the amount of neurotransmitter that's released. Some scientists think if the release of neurotransmitter can be controlled to take into account the sensitivity and roles played by post-synaptic receptors, new drugs for treating a range of neurological conditions might be developed.

Alford thinks that controlling agent may turn out to be 5-HT.

"When you release 5-HT onto the terminal (pre-synaptic) cell, you can switch the relative activation of different receptors on the post-synaptic cell," he said. "You don't just change the amount of neurotransmitter released, but you change what's activated -- the balance of different things that are activated in the next cell down the chain. In a sense, it's like you've turned a channel."

Heidi Hamm, professor and chair of pharmacology at Vanderbilt University, is a co-author of the PNAS paper. Other authors are Huzefa Photowala, Trillium Blackmer and Eric Schwartz, all former graduate students or post-doctoral researchers in Alford's UIC laboratory.


'"/>

Source:University of Illinois at Chicago


Related biology news :

1. Quantum Dots Research Leads to New Knowledge about Protein Binding in Plants
2. Protein discovery could unlock the secret to better TB treatment
3. Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein
4. An HIV Protein Plays a Surprising Role in Gene Activation
5. Protein Packages Found To Activate Genes; May Be What Regulates Development And Disease
6. New SARS Protein Linked To Important Cell Doorway
7. The Shapes Of Life: NIGMS Project Yields More Than 1,000 Protein Structures
8. PANTHER Protein Classification System Database 5.0
9. Duke Chemists Isolating Individual Molecules Of Toxic Protein In Alzheimers, Parkinsons Disease
10. Newly Discovered Compound Blocks Known Cancer-Causing Protein
11. UF Researchers Map Bacterial Proteins That Cause Tooth Loss
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from ... Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the ... Continue Reading ... ... Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced ... at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... residential home security market and how smart safety and security products impact ... Parks Associates: Smart Home ... "The residential security market has ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: