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In nerve terminals, neurotransmitters are packaged in synaptic vesicles, and released by exocytosis. Empty synaptic vesicles are rapidly recycled for reuse by endocytosis. Much progress has been made in identifying the proteins involved in synaptic-vesicle trafficking, but the mechanism and regulation of endocytosis have largely remained an enigma. One approach to defining regulatory proteins that might be involved is to study stimulus-dependent phosphorylation events in nerve terminals. This has led to the identification of dephosphin, which is quantitatively dephosphorylated by nerve-terminal depolarization. Sequencing reveals that dephosphin is identical with dynamin I, a GTP-binding protein that functions in endocytosis. Phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of nerve-terminal dynamin I/dephosphin regulates its intrinsic GTPase activity in parallel with the regulation of synaptic-vesicle recycling. Therefore, phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of dynamin I might provide a Ca(2+)-dependent switch for endocytosis in the synaptic-vesicle pathway.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Neurosci

Publication Date





348 - 353


Animals, Dynamin I, Dynamins, GTP Phosphohydrolases, Humans, Microtubules, Phosphorylation, Synaptic Vesicles