Protein phase separation hotspots at the presynapse.
Fundamental discoveries have shaped our molecular understanding of presynaptic processes, such as neurotransmitter release, active zone organization and mechanisms of synaptic vesicle (SV) recycling. However, certain regulatory steps still remain incompletely understood. Protein liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) and its role in SV clustering and active zone regulation now introduce a new perception of how the presynapse and its different compartments are organized. This article highlights the newly emerging concept of LLPS at the synapse, providing a systematic overview on LLPS tendencies of over 500 presynaptic proteins, spotlighting individual proteins and discussing recent progress in the field. Newly discovered LLPS systems like ELKS/liprin-alpha and Eps15/FCho are put into context, and further LLPS candidate proteins, including epsin1, dynamin, synaptojanin, complexin and rabphilin-3A, are highlighted.
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