The role of synapsins in neuronal development

Eugenio F. Fornasiero, Dario Bonanomi, Fabio Benfenati, Flavia Valtorta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The synapsins, the first identified synaptic vesicle-specific proteins, are phosphorylated on multiple sites by a number of protein kinases and are involved in neurite outgrowth and synapse formation as well as in synaptic transmission. In mammals, the synapsin family consists of at least 10 isoforms encoded by 3 distinct genes and composed by a mosaic of conserved and variable domains. The synapsins are highly conserved evolutionarily, and orthologues have been found in invertebrates and lower vertebrates. Within nerve terminals, synapsins are implicated in multiple interactions with presynaptic proteins and the actin cytoskeleton. Via these interactions, synapsins control several mechanisms important for neuronal homeostasis. In this review, we describe the main functional features of the synapsins, in relation to the complex role played by these phosphoproteins in neuronal development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1383-1396
Number of pages14
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Axon elongation
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Growth cone
  • Membrane trafficking
  • Nerve terminal
  • Neurotransmitter release
  • Synaptic vesicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of synapsins in neuronal development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this