Synapsin III: role in neuronal plasticity and disease.
Synapsin III was discovered in 1998, more than two decades after the first two synapsins (synapsins I and II) were identified. Although the biology of synapsin III is not as well understood as synapsins I and II, this gene is emerging as an important factor in the regulation of the early stages of neurodevelopment and dopaminergic neurotransmission, and in certain neuropsychiatric illnesses. Molecular genetic and clinical studies of synapsin III have determined that its neurodevelopmental effects are exerted at the levels of neurogenesis and axonogenesis. In vitro voltammetry studies have shown that synapsin III can control dopamine release in the striatum. Since dopaminergic dysfunction is implicated in many neuropsychiatric conditions, one may anticipate that polymorphisms in synapsin III can exert pervasive effects, especially since it is localized to extrasynaptic sites. Indeed, mutations in this gene have been identified in individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and multiple sclerosis. These and other findings indicate that the roles of synapsin III differ significantly from those of synapsins I and II. Here, we focus on the unique roles of the newest synapsin, and where relevant, compare and contrast these with the actions of synapsins I and II.
Porton, B; Wetsel, WC; Kao, H-T
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