Unc13: a multifunctional synaptic marvel

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2019 Aug;57:17-25. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.011. Epub 2019 Jan 25.


Nervous systems are built on synaptic connections, and our understanding of these complex compartments has deepened over the past quarter century as the diverse fields of genetics, molecular biology, physiology, and biochemistry each made significant in-roads into synaptic function. On the presynaptic side, an evolutionarily conserved core fusion apparatus constructed from a handful of proteins has emerged, with Unc13 serving as a hub that coordinates nearly every aspect of synaptic transmission. This review briefly highlights recent studies on diverse aspects of Unc13 function including roles in SNARE assembly and quality control, release site building, calcium channel proximity, and short-term synaptic plasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • SNARE Proteins
  • Synaptic Transmission*


  • SNARE Proteins