Vesicle pools and synapsins: new insights into old enigmas

Brain Cell Biol. 2006 Jun;35(2-3):107-15. doi: 10.1007/s11068-007-9013-4. Epub 2007 Oct 4.


Synapsins are a multigene family of neuron-specific phosphoproteins and comprise the most abundant synaptic vesicle proteins. They have been proposed to tether synaptic vesicles to each other to maintain a reserve pool in the vicinity of the active zone. Such a role is supported by the observation that disruption of synapsin function leads to a depletion of the reserve pool of vesicles and an increase in synaptic depression. However, other functions for synapsins have been proposed as well, and there currently exists no coherent picture of how these abundant proteins modulate synaptic transmission. Here, we discuss novel insights into how synapsins may regulate neurotransmitter release.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Exocytosis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Presynaptic Terminals / metabolism
  • Presynaptic Terminals / ultrastructure
  • Synapsins / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Membranes / metabolism
  • Synaptic Membranes / ultrastructure
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / ultrastructure


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Synapsins