Marine toxins potently affecting neurotransmitter release.

Abstract : Synapses are specialised structures where interneuronal communication takes place. Not only brain function is absolutely dependent on synaptic activity, but also most of our organs are intimately controlled by synaptic activity. Synapses re therefore an ideal target to act upon and poisonous species have evolved fascinating neurotoxins capable of shutting down neuronal communication by blocking or activating essential components of the synapse. By hijacking key proteins of the communication machinery, neurotoxins are therefore extremely valuable tools that have, in turn, greatly helped our understanding of synaptic biology. Moreover, analysis and understanding of the molecular strategy used by certain neurotoxins has allowed the design of entirely new classes of drugs acting on specific targets with high selectivity and efficacy. This chapter will discuss the different classes of marine neurotoxins, their effects on neurotransmitter release and how they act to incapacitate key steps in the process leading to synaptic vesicle fusion.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 5:39:56 PM
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Frédéric A. Meunier, César Mattei, Jordi Molgó. Marine toxins potently affecting neurotransmitter release.. Progress in molecular and subcellular biology, Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, 2009, 46, pp.159-86. ⟨10.1007/978-3-540-87895-7_6⟩. ⟨hal-00308524⟩



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