Tue, 27/07/2021 - 14:15
Online lecture via MS Teams

Dr. Yvonne Schwarz
Host: Dr. Hendrik Hähl
Institut für Physiologie, UdS (HOM)

Knowing when to talk or stay silent - how do secretory cells communicate with each other?”

Investigating the molecular mechanisms of exocytosis using state-of-the-art microscopy, biochemistry, mouse genetics and electrophysiology

In this lecture, we will discuss the elementary mechanisms how neurons and neuroendocrine cells communicate with each other or rather stay silent. We will address the fundamental principles of neurotransmitter release and how since the discovery of the exocytotic core machinery in the late 1990 (Nobel Prize 2013), several key aspects of fusion still remain unknown.

Membrane fusion is one of the hallmarks of vesicular exocytosis. Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor activating protein receptor (SNARE) proteins have been at the fore-front of research on biological membrane fusion for quite some time. While it has been proven without any doubt that SNARE proteins and their protein-protein interactions are the driving force of virtually all exocytotic fusion events, their protein-lipid interactions have remained more elusive. The research focus of the group is gaining new insight into the role of SNARE proteins in different stages of exocytosis using a variety of techniques from ‘old-school’ biochemistry to newly generated optogenetic approaches in combination with high resolution microscopy and electrophysiology in mouse chromaffin cells. In a separate part of the lecture we will discuss how neurons and glia cells communicate within the context of the tripartite synapse and how different neurotransmitters released from the very same glia cell have the ability to potentiate or silence neuronal communication.

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