Synaptic targeting domains of synapsin I revealed by transgenic expression in photoreceptor cells

Martin Geppert, Beate Ullrich, Daniell G. Green, Kohji Takei, Laurie Daniels, Pietro De Camilli, Thomas C. Südhof, Robert E.hammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Synapsins are abundant nerve terminal proteins present at all synapses except for ribbon synapses, e.g. photoreceptor cell synapses. Multiple functions have been proposed for synapsins, including clustering of synaptic vesicles and regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. To investigate the physiological functions of synapsin and to ascertain which domains of synapsin are involved in synaptic targeting ill vivo, we expressed synapsin Ib and its N- and C-terminal domains in the photoreceptor cells of transgenic mice. In these cells synapsin Ib is targeted efficiently to synaptic vesicles but has no significant effect on the development, structure or physiology of the synapses. This suggests that synapsin I does not have dominant physiological or morphoregulatory functions at these synapses. Full-length synapsin Ib and the N-terminal domains of synapsin Ib but not its C-terminal domains are transported to synapses, revealing that the molecular apparatus for synaptic targeting of synapsins is also present in cells which form ribbon synapses that normally lack synapsins. This apparatus appears to utilize the conserved N-terminal domains that are shared between all synapsins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3720-3727
Number of pages8
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Photoreceptor cells
  • Synapses
  • Synapsins
  • Transgenic expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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