Timothy O'Leary (University of Cambridge)

System size as a regulatory feedback signal in synapses

Begin: Tue, Jun 19, 2018 10:15
Please note that this event has already ended.

TU Berlin
Room MAR 4.063
Marchstr. 23
10587 Berlin



I will present a reevaluation of the thinking behind common models of biochemical switches involved in synaptic plasticity. Typically, the signalling pathways in a synapse are inspected for the ability to support deterministic bistability, or mutistability. This allows a set of robust switch-like states that can, for example, act as a synaptic ‘tag’ to signal that a synapse needs to potentiate, or, on longer timescales, can allow a synapse to reside at a stable weight. Unfortunately, some of the favourite candidates for biochemical switches are mired in controversy: some studies indicate the existence of multistability, while others refute it. We show how system size generically alters the physics of components in small compartments such as synapses, offering a novel path for nature to build a robust, self limiting switch.

Organized by

Henning Sprekeler, Laura Naumann & Loreen Hertäg

← all talks