Synapsin regulation of vesicle organization and functional pools

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011 Jun;22(4):387-92. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.07.003. Epub 2011 Jul 31.


Synaptic vesicles are organized in clusters, and synapsin maintains vesicle organization and abundance in nerve terminals. At the functional level, vesicles can be subdivided into three pools: the releasable pool, the recycling pool, and the reserve pool, and synapsin mediates transitions between these pools. Synapsin directs vesicles into the reserve pool, and synapsin II isoform has a primary role in this function. In addition, synapsin actively delivers vesicles to active zones. Finally, synapsin I isoform mediates coupling release events to action potentials at the latest stages of exocytosis. Thus, synapsin is involved in multiple stages of the vesicle cycle, including vesicle clustering, maintaining the reserve pool, vesicle delivery to active zones, and synchronizing release events. These processes are regulated via a dynamic synapsin phosphorylation/dephosphorylation cycle which involves multiple phosphorylation sites and several pathways. Different synapsin isoforms have unique and non-redundant roles in the multifaceted synapsin function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Nerve Endings / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Synapsins / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / metabolism


  • Synapsins