Submitted by: Ashley Martin
Program: Biological Sciences, PhD
My research focuses on the structure and function of synapses, using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism. Learning more about synapses is important, as proper synapse function is critical for a multitude of basic processes and misregulation of synapses is a hallmark of many diseases. This image shows the colocalization of two neuronally expressed proteins, one, Snapin, tagged with green fluorescent protein and the other with red fluorescent protein. This image was taken in a mutant nematode lacking synaptic vesicle transport. The areas of yellow represent the presence of both dyes and from this we conclude that Snapin is not included in synaptic vesicles. This data suggests that the previously documented interaction between Snapin and the synaptic vesicle specific protein Synaptotagmin may be blocked during neurotransmitter transport in vesicles. This is consistent with our published data showing different presynaptic proteins have different roles in synaptic transmission. Hopeful ly the “Wormhole” in this image will bring us closer to fully understanding the many mysteries of synaptic function.