The architecture of the active zone in the presynaptic nerve terminal

R. Grace Zhai, Hugo J. Bellen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations


Active zones are highly specialized sites for release of neurotransmitter from presynaptic nerve terminals. The architecture of the active zone is exquisitely designed to facilitate the regulated tethering, docking, and fusing of the synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane. Here we present our view of the structural and molecular organization of active zones across species and propose that all active zones are organized according to a common principle in which the structural differences correlate with the kinetics of transmitter release.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-270
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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