This review was presented at The Journal of Physiology Symposium entitled Size matters: formation and function of GIANT synapses, which took place at the Annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA, USA on 12 October 2012. It was commissioned by the Editorial Board and reflects the views of the authors.
The role of ubiquitin-mediated pathways in regulating synaptic development, axonal degeneration and regeneration: insights from fly and worm
Article first published online: 28 MAY 2013
© 2013 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2013 The Physiological Society
The Journal of Physiology
Volume 591, Issue 13, pages 3133–3143, July 2013
How to Cite
Tian, X. and Wu, C. (2013), The role of ubiquitin-mediated pathways in regulating synaptic development, axonal degeneration and regeneration: insights from fly and worm. The Journal of Physiology, 591: 3133–3143. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.247940
- Issue published online: 1 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 28 MAY 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 19 APR 2013 12:15PM EST
- (Received 6 November 2012; accepted after revision 9 April 2013; first published online 22 April 2013)
Abstract The covalent attachment of the 76 amino acid peptide ubiquitin to target proteins is a rapid and reversible modification that regulates protein stability, activity and localization. As such, it is a potent mechanism for sculpting the synapse. Recent studies from two genetic model organisms, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila, have provided mounting evidence that ubiquitin-mediated pathways play important roles in controlling the presynaptic size, synaptic elimination and stabilization, synaptic transmission, postsynaptic receptor abundance, axonal degeneration and regeneration. While the data supporting the requirement of ubiquitination/deubiquitination for normal synaptic development and repair are compelling, detailed analyses of signalling events up- and downstream of these ubiquitin modifications are often challenging. This article summarizes the related research conducted in worms and flies and provides insight into the fundamental questions facing this field.