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J Cell Biol. 2005 Sep 26;170(7):1127-34.

Neurotransmitter release regulated by a MALS-liprin-alpha presynaptic complex.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Abstract

Synapses are highly specialized intercellular junctions organized by adhesive and scaffolding molecules that align presynaptic vesicular release with postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. The MALS/Veli-CASK-Mint-1 complex of PDZ proteins occurs on both sides of the synapse and has the potential to link transsynaptic adhesion molecules to the cytoskeleton. In this study, we purified the MALS protein complex from brain and found liprin-alpha as a major component. Liprin proteins organize the presynaptic active zone and regulate neurotransmitter release. Fittingly, mutant mice lacking all three MALS isoforms died perinatally with difficulty breathing and impaired excitatory synaptic transmission. Excitatory postsynaptic currents were dramatically reduced in autaptic cultures from MALS triple knockout mice due to a presynaptic deficit in vesicle cycling. These findings are consistent with a model whereby the MALS-CASK-liprin-alpha complex recruits components of the synaptic release machinery to adhesive proteins of the active zone.

PMID:
16186258
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2171538
Free PMC Article

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