Molecular studies of synaptic vescicle recycling in health and disease (SYNAPSEFUNCTION)
|Institution||K.U.Leuven, Center of Human Genetics|
|Street Address||VIB, Department of Molecular and Developmental Genetics|
|City||Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium|
European Research Council
- Parkinson’s disease
Synaptic transmission is of paramount importance for neuronal circuit integrity; if synapses fail, circuits fail. Transmission of electrical pulses in our brain is critical for normal but also higher brain functions such as learning, memory formation and thought, and understanding the regulatory processes of synaptic transmission may provide insight into neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, bipolar disorder and drug addiction that arise from defects in specific neuronal circuits in the brain. Here, we propose to study novel regulatory mechanisms that operate at the synapse and have the capacity to be major regulators of synaptic plasticity. Our work will include studies of novel synaptic organelles and alternative pathways of synaptic vesicle endocytosis (e.g. clathrin-dependent or kiss-and-run), with a clear link to human disease (e.g. Parkinson’s Disease). We will use innovative genetic screen approaches in flies and bacteria and study processes that regulate synaptic vesicle trafficking employing imaging, electrophysiology and electron microscopy with the ultimate hope of elucidating mechanisms of normal but also diseased brain function.