Distinguishing Synaptic Release Sites

Science's STKE  22 Jun 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 238, pp. tw224-TW224
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2382004TW224

Release of the principal excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate depends on its transport into synaptic vesicles by a family of proteins responsible for vesicular glutamate transport. Vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUT) 1 and 2 have a mutually exclusive distribution in the adult brain. Fremeau et al. now show that earlier in development their distributions overlap and that they mediate glutamate release from distinct synaptic sites made by the same neuron (see the Perspective by Schuske and Jorgensen). Release mediated by the two isoforms also differs in the response to repetitive stimulation, which suggests that there are functional differences between the two release sites. The loss of VGLUT1 selectively reduces the reserve pool of synaptic vesicles and may play a role in membrane trafficking at the nerve terminal.

R. T. Fremeau Jr., K. Kam, T. Qureshi, J. Johnson, D. R. Copenhagen, J. Storm-Mathisen, F. A. Chaudhry, R. A. Nicoll, R. H. Edwards, Vesicular glutamate transporters 1 and 2 target to functionally distinct synaptic release sites. Science 304, 1815-1819 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]

K. Schuske, E. M. Jorgensen, Vesicular glutamate transporter--shooting blanks. Science 304, 1750-1752 (2004). [Summary] [Full Text]