Cycling of Synaptic Vesicles: How Far? How Fast!

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Science's STKE  21 Dec 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 264, pp. re19
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2642004re19

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Synaptic transmission is based on the regulated exocytotic fusion of synaptic vesicles filled with neurotransmitter. In order to sustain neurotransmitter release, these vesicles need to be recycled locally. Recent data suggest that two tracks for the cycling of synaptic vesicles coexist: a slow track in which vesicles fuse completely with the presynaptic plasma membrane, followed by clathrin-mediated recycling of the vesicular components, and a fast track that may correspond to the transient opening and closing of a fusion pore. In this review, we attempt to provide an overview of the components involved in both tracks of vesicle cycling, as well as to identify possible mechanistic links between these two pathways.

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