Synaptic vesicle biogenesis, docking, and fusion: a molecular description

Physiol Rev. 1996 Jan;76(1):1-29. doi: 10.1152/physrev.1996.76.1.1.


Secretion of neurotransmitter is the primary means of intercellular communication within the nervous system. This process is regulated by a highly orchestrated cycle of membrane trafficking within the presynaptic nerve terminal. Characterization of proteins localized to the synaptic vesicle and the subsequent studies of their properties have led to a model for the biochemical pathway that underlies vesicle docking, activation, and fusion. The proteins found to function in the synapse are related to those in yeast and other organisms, demonstrating that the mechanisms that mediate vesicle trafficking are conserved in all eukaryotic species.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Endocytosis
  • Humans
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Synaptic Vesicles / physiology*


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neurotransmitter Agents