Results Functional genomics

The key objective of this Research Team was to study which candidate genes regulate synaptic delivery and whether neurodegenerative disease-linked variations in such genes, isolated in Genetics of the Brain, influence synaptic transport.


The research outlined in WP3 has yielded new insight in cell‐to‐cell communication in neuronal networks on multiple levels, ranging from intracellular mechanisms for neurotransmitter vesicle release in a single synapse to neuronal network activity in the intact brain of a live animal. By this multi‐disciplinary research of genetic models for neurodegenerative disease, this WP has delivered a deeper understanding of nerve‐cell connectivity, which forms the basis of learning and memory.


  1. Kurps, J. and De Wit, H. The role of Munc18‐1 and its orthologs in modulation of
    cortical F‐actin in chromaffin cells. J Mol Neurosci. 48, 339‐46 (2012)
  2. Kurps, J. et al. Novel image analysis tool to study the plasma membrane
    localization of secretory proteins and cortical actin in neurosecretory cells, J
    Neurosci Methods, submitted
  3. Walter A.M*., Kurps, J.* et al. Vti1a functions in dense‐core vesicle biogenensis. J
    Cell Biol, submitted. *These authors contributed equally.
  • Research teams

    To reach its objectives, the BrainTrain research program is composed of 5 scientific Research Teams, see list below, with 3 trainees each.
  • Genetics of the brain

    The increasing prevalence for neurodegenerative disease in our aging population poses a growing problem for healthcare.
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  • The synaptic interactome

    Many brain disorders are to be considered 'synaptic diseases" or 'synaptopathies' and cellular function of synapses.
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  • Functional genomic of the synapse

    The synapse is a specialized structure between two neurons at which basal neuronal communication takes place.
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  • Synaptic plasticity

    In neuropsychiatric disorders associated with reduced cognitive abilities, such as age-related cognitive decline, but also mental retardation, the ability of synapses to alter their strength is strongly affected.
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  • Transmission and behavioral function

    The etiology of many disorders including age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease is still poorly understood.
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