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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2000 Jun;10(3):303-11.

Regulation of transmitter release by Unc-13 and its homologues.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Experimentelle Medizin, AG Molekulare Neurobiologie, Göttingen, D-37075, Germany.


Neurotransmitters are released by Ca(2+)-triggered exocytotic fusion of synaptic vesicles. Before fusion, vesicles dock at a specialised presynaptic plasma membrane region, the active zone, where they are primed to a fusion competent state. The nature of this priming reaction has long been enigmatic. Recent evidence demonstrates that priming is an essential and rate-limiting step in secretion from neurons and neuroendocrine cells. Members of the Unc-13 protein family, which are highly conserved during evolution and act as novel targets of the diacylglycerol second-messenger pathway, have been identified to play an essential role in this process.

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