Recent studies have identified myosin Va as an organelle motor that may nave important functions in neurons. Abundantly expressed at the hippocampal postsynaptic density, it interacts with protein complexes involved in synaptic plasticity. It is also located in presynaptic terminals and may function to recruit vesicles in the reserve pool to the active zone. Dilute-lethal mice are spontaneous myosin Va mutants and have severe neurological symptoms. We studied hippocampal physiology at CA3-CA1 excitatory synapses in dilute-lethal mutant mice to test the hypothesis that myosin Va plays a role in pre- or postsynaptic elements of synaptic transmission. In all assays performed, the mutant synapses appeared to be functioning normally, both pre- and postsynaptically. These data suggest that myosin Va is not essential for the synaptic release machinery, postsynaptic receptor composition, or plasticity at this synapse, but does not exclude significant roles for myosin Va in other cell types nor potential compensation by other myosin V isoforms.
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