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Elife. 2018 Oct 15;7. pii: e39440. doi: 10.7554/eLife.39440.

Myosin V functions as a vesicle tether at the plasma membrane to control neurotransmitter release in central synapses.

Author information

Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University, Missouri, United States.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, Missouri, United States.
Contributed equally


Synaptic vesicle fusion occurs at specialized release sites at the active zone. How refilling of release sites with new vesicles is regulated in central synapses remains poorly understood. Using nanoscale-resolution detection of individual release events in rat hippocampal synapses we found that inhibition of myosin V, the predominant vesicle-associated motor, strongly reduced refilling of the release sites during repetitive stimulation. Single-vesicle tracking revealed that recycling vesicles continuously shuttle between a plasma membrane pool and an inner pool. Vesicle retention at the membrane pool was regulated by neural activity in a myosin V dependent manner. Ultrastructural measurements of vesicle occupancy at the plasma membrane together with analyses of single-vesicle trajectories during vesicle shuttling between the pools suggest that myosin V acts as a vesicle tether at the plasma membrane, rather than a motor transporting vesicles to the release sites, or directly regulating vesicle exocytosis.


active zone; myosin V; neuroscience; neurotransmitter release; rat; release site; single-vesicle imaging; synaptic vesicle

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