Regulation of transmitter release by Unc-13 and its homologues

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2000 Jun;10(3):303-11. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(00)00105-7.


Neurotransmitters are released by Ca(2+)-triggered exocytotic fusion of synaptic vesicles. Before fusion, vesicles dock at a specialised presynaptic plasma membrane region, the active zone, where they are primed to a fusion competent state. The nature of this priming reaction has long been enigmatic. Recent evidence demonstrates that priming is an essential and rate-limiting step in secretion from neurons and neuroendocrine cells. Members of the Unc-13 protein family, which are highly conserved during evolution and act as novel targets of the diacylglycerol second-messenger pathway, have been identified to play an essential role in this process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Helminth Proteins / genetics
  • Helminth Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • phorbol ester binding protein