Endophilin is required for synaptic vesicle endocytosis by localizing synaptojanin

Neuron. 2003 Nov 13;40(4):749-62. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(03)00667-6.


Endophilin is a membrane-associated protein required for endocytosis of synaptic vesicles. Two models have been proposed for endophilin: that it alters lipid composition in order to shape membranes during endocytosis, or that it binds the polyphosphoinositide phosphatase synaptojanin and recruits this phosphatase to membranes. In this study, we demonstrate that the unc-57 gene encodes the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of endophilin A. We demonstrate that endophilin is required in C. elegans for synaptic vesicle recycling. Furthermore, the defects observed in endophilin mutants closely resemble those observed in synaptojanin mutants. The electrophysiological phenotype of endophilin and synaptojanin double mutants are virtually identical to the single mutants, demonstrating that endophilin and synaptojanin function in the same pathway. Finally, endophilin is required to stabilize expression of synaptojanin at the synapse. These data suggest that endophilin is an adaptor protein required to localize and stabilize synaptojanin at membranes during synaptic vesicle recycling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acyltransferases / genetics
  • Acyltransferases / isolation & purification*
  • Acyltransferases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / ultrastructure
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA, Complementary / analysis
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Endocytosis / genetics*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / metabolism
  • Presynaptic Terminals / ultrastructure
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Synaptic Membranes / genetics
  • Synaptic Membranes / metabolism
  • Synaptic Membranes / ultrastructure
  • Synaptic Transmission / genetics
  • Synaptic Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / ultrastructure


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Acyltransferases
  • 2-acylglycerophosphate acyltransferase
  • synaptojanin
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY394006