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Cancer Cell death Cell cycle Cytoskeleton Exo/endocytosis Differentiation Division Organelles Signalling Stem cells Trafficking
Cell Biology International (2004) 28, 699–708 (Printed in Great Britain)
Structure, isolation, composition and reconstitution of the neuronal fusion pore
Won Jin Choa1, Aleksandar Jeremica1, Kathy T. Rognliena, Mzia G. Zhvaniab, Ilia Lazrishvilib, Bikashvili Tamarb and Bhanu P. Jenaa*
aDepartment of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 5245 Scott Hall, 540 E Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
bSection of Neuroanatomy, Institute of Physiology, Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi 380060, Georgia


Neuronal communication is dependent on the fusion of 40–50nm in diameter synaptic vesicles containing neurotransmitters, at the presynaptic membrane. Here we report for the first time at 5–8Å resolution, the presence of 8–10nm in diameter cup-shaped neuronal fusion pores or porosomes at the presynaptic membrane, where synaptic vesicles dock and fuse to release neurotransmitters. The structure, isolation, composition, and functional reconstitution of porosomes present at the nerve terminal are described. These findings reveal the molecular mechanism of neurotransmitter release at the presynaptic membrane of nerve terminals.

Key words: Fusion pore, Neuron, AFM, SNAREs, Reconstitution.

1Won Jin Cho and Aleksandar Jeremic contributed equally to this work.

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 313 577 1532; fax: +1 313 993 4177.

Received 8 July 2004/11 July 2004; accepted 15 July 2004


ISSN Print: 1065-6995
ISSN Electronic: 1095-8355
Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB)