Neural network which regulates various brain functions is a series of neural connection at synapse. Presynaptic active zone (AZ) is the specialized plasma membrane, where synaptic vesicles dock and fuse to release neurotransmitters. In 1990s to 2000s, development of molecular biology and biochemistry allowed scientists to identify composition of release machinery such as RIM1, Munc13, Bassoon, and CAST/ELKS for the cytomatrix at the AZ (CAZ) proteins. We have been interested in how the CAZ proteins temporally and spatially coordinate the neurotransmitter release. And further, what of dysfunctions in AZ dynamics can cause the brain diseases? We have employed interdisciplinary approaches such as solid biochemistry, cellular biology, genetics, electron microscopy, and electrophysiology to understand the physiological roles of the AZ in health and diseases by using mice as a model animal.
|Ｎame||Title・Positions||Main Research Focus|
|Toshihisa OHTSUKA||Professor||Neuroscience, Neurochemistry|
|Akari HAGIWARA||Senior Assistant Professor||Neuroscience, Immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy|
|Hajime YAMAUCHI||Assistant Professor||Pharmacology, Molecular biology and biochemistry|
|Shun HAMADA||Assistant Professor||Neuroscience, Electrophysiology and biochemistry|