The synaptic vesicle cycle: a cascade of protein-protein interactions

Nature. 1995 Jun 22;375(6533):645-53. doi: 10.1038/375645a0.


The synaptic vesicle cycle at the nerve terminal consists of vesicle exocytosis with neurotransmitter release, endocytosis of empty vesicles, and regeneration of fresh vesicles. Of all cellular transport pathways, the synaptic vesicle cycle is the fastest and the most tightly regulated. A convergence of results now allows formulation of molecular models for key steps of the cycle. These developments may form the basis for a mechanistic understanding of higher neural function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Toxins / pharmacology
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins*
  • Endocytosis
  • Exocytosis
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fusion
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Synaptic Vesicles / drug effects
  • Synaptic Vesicles / physiology*
  • Synaptotagmins
  • rab3 GTP-Binding Proteins


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Synaptotagmins
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rab3 GTP-Binding Proteins