- Language: English
- 390 Pages
- Published: December 2011
- Region: Global
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A Proteomic Approach on Synapse Formation. Edition No. 1
- Published: May 2008
- Region: Global
- 136 Pages
- VDM Publishing House
Synapses are essential for the brain's normal function such as the brain's ability to transfer, process and store information. Synapses are thus constantly generated and degraded. To form a new synapse, hair-like filaments on opposing nerve cells differentiate into mushroom-like dendritic spines. Information transfer between nerve cells is then possible through these spines. However, the mechanisms that control this conversion of a thin filament into a functional dendritic spine have until now remained a mystery. Stefan Weinges has now succeeded in unravelling one of these complex mechanisms and identified the molecular players involved in synapse formation using a novel proteomic approach. To achieve this, he concentrated his investigations on a specific group of receptors and their membrane-bound binding partners, which can also function as receptors in this system. This "reverse signaling" plays an important role in the modification of the cytoskeleton and thus in the formation of dendritic spines. These exciting insights into the control of synapse formation advance our knowledge of the mechanisms involved in learning and information storage by one important step.
Stefan Weinges pursued his undergraduate studies of biology at the University of Heidelberg and Flinders University, Australia. Stefan then moved to Munich to complete his PhD in molecular developmental biology at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology. Most of this work contributed to his first authorship publication in Nature Neuroscience.