"Docking Vesicles at the Active Zone of Ribbon and Central Synapses"


When Mar 10, 2009
from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where 1131 Bioinformatics Auditorium
Contact Name
Contact Phone 919-843-9984
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Dr. Zampighi is a Professor of Neurobiology and Molecular Cellular & Integrative Physiology at the Brain Research Institute, UCLA.  His lab studies the gap junction and the chemical synapse, two specialized junctions that mediate electrical and chemical transmission, respectively. The gap junction is composed of specialized channels containing small hydrophilic pores that span the two plasma membranes and the intervening extracellular space (the cell-to-cell channel). Dr. Zampighi's lab is investigating the high resolution structure of the channels as well as the mechanisms of assembly, insertion and retrieval of the connexin proteins which form them.  The chemical synapse is composed of a presynaptic neuron filled with small diameter vesicles that contain high concentration of neurotransmitters and a postsynaptic neuron with receptors.  They are also studying the mechanisms by which the synaptic vesicles attach ("dock") to the presynaptic membrane.  They use structural (electron microscopy), biochemical and electrophysiological techniques in an attempt to identify, purify and characterize the channels and transporters of both junctions in an effort to further understand the mechanisms mediating cell communication.

To learn more, please visit his website: faculty.bri.ucla.edu/institution/personnel.


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