Synaptophysin, a major synaptic vesicle protein, is not essential for neurotransmitter release

Harvey T. Mcmahon, Vadim Y. Bolshakov, Roger Janz, Robert E Hammer, Steven A. Siegelbaum, Thomas C. Südhof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations


Synaptophysin (syp I) is a synaptic vesicle membrane protein that constitutes ≃7% of the total vesicle protein. Multiple lines of evidence implicate syp I in a number of nerve terminal functions. To test these, we have disrupted the murine syp I gene. Mutant mice lacking syp I were viable and fertile. No changes in the structure and protein composition of the mutant brains were observed except for a decrease in synaptobrevin/VAMP II. Synaptic transmission was normal with no detectable changes in synaptic plasticity or the probability of release. Our data demonstrate that one of the major synaptic vesicle membrane proteins is not essential for synaptic transmission, suggesting that its function is either redundant or that it has a more subtle function not apparent in the assays used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4760-4764
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 14 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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