Speaker:

YeJin Chai (PhD Exit Seminar)

Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland

Title: "A highly Munc18-ocentric Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Abstract: Neurons communicate through the release of neurotransmitter stored in synaptic vesicles located in nerve terminals. Several key molecules such as STXBP1 (also known as Munc18-1) and the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNARE) control the exocytic fusion of these vesicles with the plasma membrane. Deletion of Munc18-1 not only block neurotransmitter release but also leads to widespread neurodegeneration through unknown mechanism. Munc18-1 de novo heterozygous mutations cause developmental defects and epileptic phenotypes including early infantile epileptic encephalopathy type 4 (EIEE4). The mechanism by which these mutations lead to this pathology is poorly understood, and may involve either haploinsufficiency and/or a gain of pathological function of the mutant allele. In this talk, I will present our recent discoveries suggesting that Munc18-1 human EIEE4 mutants confer a gain of toxic function via protein aggregation-induced neurodegeneration. Furthermore, I will show how the nanoscale organization of Munc18-1 is altered by Munc18-1 EIEE-causing mutant in neurosecretory cells and hippocampal neurons using single-molecule imaging.

 

About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

The scheduled QBI Neuroscience Seminar series are held on Wednesdays from 11am-12pm in the Level 7 Auditorium of the Queensland Brain Institute, Building 79, St Lucia Campus, The University of Queensland. Additional seminars may be held at other times as listed below.

 

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