Matrix Machinery Mutants

Sci. Signal.  20 Dec 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 204, pp. ec356
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4204ec356

The synaptic cytomatrix is a poorly understood meshwork of proteins in the presynaptic active zone that ensures that synaptic vesicles, SNARES, and calcium channels are properly organized for efficient synaptic vesicle release during neurotransmission. Liu et al. found that Drosophila Rab-interacting molecule–binding protein (DRBP) is part of the active-zone cytomatrix core. DRBP was required for normal organization of calcium channels, and, in its absence, synaptic transmission was seriously impaired. Stoichiometric amounts of DRBP were needed for proper active-zone ultrastructure and function. Thus, DRBP is required for the coupling of voltage-gated calcium channels and the fusion machinery of synaptic vesicles.

K. S. Y. Liu, M. Siebert, S. Mertel, E. Knoche, S. Wegener, C. Wichmann, T. Matkovic, K. Muhammad, H. Depner, C. Mettke, J. Bückers, S. W. Hell, M. Müller, G. W. Davis, D. Schmitz, S. J. Sigrist, RIM-binding protein, a central part of the active zone, is essential for neurotransmitter release. Science 334, 1565–1569 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]