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MemTraS: A new team at IINS

MemTraS: A new team at IINS

"MemTraS - Membrane traffic at synapses" is a new team recently born at IINS. The leader, David Perrais, presents the research axis:

Our goal in the team is to study the mechanisms of synapse function. We focus on membrane trafficking events, exocytosis and endocytosis, in normal brain physiology or in the course of disease. Indeed, membrane trafficking is essential in both sides of the synapse. The presynaptic element is filled with synaptic vesicles which fuse at the active zone to release neurotransmitter molecules, one of the defining features of synaptic transmission. After fusion, vesicles are very quickly and efficiently recycled to cope with neuronal activity. At the post-synaptic side, post-synaptic receptors are going through cycles of endocytosis and recycling, which is essential to regulate synaptic transmission and plasticity. We want to analyse how these processes are organized in space and time. Finally, we are not only interested in canonical synapses, such as cortical glutamatergic synapses, but also in rare and much less understood synapse populations such as neuromodulatory dopamine synapses.

To tackle these issues, we combine two types of expertise mastered by the researchers of the team, myself and Etienne Herzog. I bring electrophysiology combined with the most advanced fluorescence imaging techniques to detect and characterize individual exocytosis and endocytosis events in living cells, while Etienne brings his method of purification of synaptosomes from adult animals with fluorescence activated synaptosome sorting which enables powerful proteomics, transcriptomics and functional approaches. Altogether we aim at identifying new principles of organization in specific synapses and test their relevance for synaptic function in the normal and diseased brain.

The team being formed in January 2020. From left to right: Lou Bouit, Silvia Sposini, Marlene Pfeffer, Etienne Herzog, May Bakr and David Perrais.

- More details on the Bordeaux Neurocampus website here.

- Contact: David Perrais