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J Physiol. 2000 May 15;525 Pt 1:11-9.

Regulation of neuronal function by protein trafficking: a role for the endosomal pathway.

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Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, 220 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Protein trafficking plays a central role in many aspects of neuronal function, from the release of neurotransmitters by exocytosis and the recycling of synaptic vesicle proteins to the regulation of receptor signalling. Synaptic function can be significantly modified on a short time scale by alterations in the levels of receptors, ion channels and transporters both pre- and postsynaptically. In many cases, these alterations appear to be mediated by acute changes in the rates at which the proteins are endocytosed from and exocytosed to the cell surface from intracellular pools. While our current understanding of the signalling mechanisms and the intracellular pathways responsible for these acute changes is still in its infancy, intriguing details are beginning to emerge from a number of systems.

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