Comparison of the Presynaptic Vesicle Component Synaptophysin and Gap Junction Proteins: A Clue for Neurotransmitter Release?
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).
KeywordsSucrose Propionate Sedimentation Adduct Oligomer
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