The molecule myosin VI has been found to have an important role in the communication between nerve cells in the brain.

QBI’s Vanesa Tomatis, a PhD student in Associate Professor Frederic Meunier’s laboratory, discovered that myosin VI is integral to the process that allows neurons to pass on information to other neurons.

Tomatis’ work demonstrates that myosin VI is able to anchor secretory vesicles, which are at least 5,000 times greater in size, near their release site.

“By tethering and anchoring secretory granules, myosin VI helps to maintain an active pool of vesicles near the plasma membrane, which is key to sustaining communication between neuronal cells,” Associate Professor Meunier said.

Associate Professor Meunier and his team are now looking to understand how myosin VI manages to grab and hold vesicles through the use of super-resolution microscopy.

They hope the discovery will lead to new ways to reinstate or regulate neuronal communication in various brain disorders.