Comparison of the Presynaptic Vesicle Component Synaptophysin and Gap Junction Proteins: A Clue for Neurotransmitter Release?

  • Leo Thomas
  • Petra Knaus
  • Heinrich Betz
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 32)


Synaptophysin is a major integral membrane protein of presynaptic vesicles (Wiedenmann and Franke, 1985; Jahn et al., 1985). Elucidation of its primary structure by different groups in combination with biochemical work on its structural organization revealed a transmembrane topology and quarternary structure similar to that of gap junction proteins. This led to speculations that synaptophysin might form a channel which spans the synaptic vesicle membrane, a hypothesis which we have now confirmed by reconstitution experiments. The identification of a gap junction protein-like channel in presynaptic vesicles may prove crucial for our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter release (Reichardt and Kelly, 1983).


Synaptic Vesicle Fusion Pore Synaptic Vesicle Protein Presynaptic Vesicle Transmembrane Channel 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leo Thomas
    • 1
  • Petra Knaus
    • 1
  • Heinrich Betz
    • 1
  1. 1.Zentrum für Molekulare BiologieUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergFederal Republic of Germany

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