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David Zenisek, PhD

Professor of Cellular And Molecular Physiology, of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and of Neuroscience

Research Summary

Neurons communicate with one another by the release of neurotransmitters through exocytosis. Although all eukaryotic cells secrete molecules, a hallmark of neurons is the speed and spatial regulation of the secretion process. The main objective of the research in my laboratory is to understand how presynaptic terminals are specialized for these tasks. This work involves the study of several aspects of presynaptic function including vesicle transport, exocytosis, and endocytosis.

The primary model system in the laboratory is the retinal bipolar neuron of the goldfish and zebrafish, which have unusually large synaptic terminals. These neurons belong to a class of neurons that have specialized synaptic structures known as synaptic ribbons. One specific focus of the laboratory is to understand the role of these structures in synaptic transmission in tonic sensory neurons. In order to study presynaptic function, my laboratory uses a combination of electrophysiological, molecular, and optical approaches.

Specialized Terms: Physiology and cell biology of the presynaptic terminal; Retinal Bipolar Neuron; Synaptic Terminal; Synaptic Ribbons; Vesicle Transport; Exocytosis; Endocytosis

Coauthors

Research Interests

Cell Biology; Endocytosis; Exocytosis; Ophthalmology; Physiology; Presynaptic Terminals; Retinal Bipolar Cells

Selected Publications

  • Rapid membrane flow at a presynaptic terminalPerez C, Dudzinski N, Rouches M, Machta B, Zenisek D, Karatekin E. Rapid membrane flow at a presynaptic terminal Biophysical Journal 2022, 121: 230a. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2021.11.1599.
  • Dynamics of Membrane Tension and Synaptic Vesicle RecyclingPerez C, Dudzinski N, Rouches M, Machta B, Zenisek D, Karatekin E. Dynamics of Membrane Tension and Synaptic Vesicle Recycling Biophysical Journal 2021, 120: 323a. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2020.11.2037.
  • Facile Membrane Flow and Tension Equilibration at a Presynaptic Nerve TerminalPerez C, Dudzinski N, Rouches M, Matcha B, Zenisek D, Karatekin E. Facile Membrane Flow and Tension Equilibration at a Presynaptic Nerve Terminal Biophysical Journal 2020, 118: 232a. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2019.11.1372.
  • 3571 Expression profile of the ribbon synapse protein Ribeye in the zebrafishFrederick C, Zenisek D. 3571 Expression profile of the ribbon synapse protein Ribeye in the zebrafish Journal Of Clinical And Translational Science 2019, 3: 11-11. PMCID: PMC6799612, DOI: 10.1017/cts.2019.29.
  • Investigating Membrane Tension Dynamics in the Neuronal Presynaptic TerminalDudzinski N, Zenisek D, Karatekin E. Investigating Membrane Tension Dynamics in the Neuronal Presynaptic Terminal Biophysical Journal 2019, 116: 313a-314a. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2018.11.1699.
  • A Gain-of-Function TRPP2 Ion Channel Created by Mutating Single Amino Acid in the S5 Transmembrane DomainPavel M, Lv C, Ng C, Kashyap P, Lam C, Valentino V, Fung H, Campbell T, Zenisek D, Holtzman N, Yu Y. A Gain-of-Function TRPP2 Ion Channel Created by Mutating Single Amino Acid in the S5 Transmembrane Domain Biophysical Journal 2017, 112: 249a-250a. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2016.11.1364.
  • A marginal band of microtubules transports and organizes mitochondria in retinal bipolar synaptic terminalsGraffe M, Zenisek D, Taraska J. A marginal band of microtubules transports and organizes mitochondria in retinal bipolar synaptic terminals Journal Of Cell Biology 2015, 210: 2102oia145. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.2102oia145.
  • Charaterization of Calcium Current and Exocytosis in Zebrafish Lateral Line Hair Cells During DevelopmentLv C, Santos-Sacchi J, Zenisek D. Charaterization of Calcium Current and Exocytosis in Zebrafish Lateral Line Hair Cells During Development Biophysical Journal 2014, 106: 597a. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.11.3305.
  • Acute Damage to Synaptic Ribbons Differentially Affects Evoked and Spontaneous Neurotransmitter Release from Rod Bipolar CellsMehta B, Snellman J, Zenisek D. Acute Damage to Synaptic Ribbons Differentially Affects Evoked and Spontaneous Neurotransmitter Release from Rod Bipolar Cells Biophysical Journal 2012, 102: 670a. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.11.3647.
  • Calcium-Induced Calcium Release (CICR) Triggers Fusion of Individual Synaptic Vesicles in Rod TerminalsChen M, Zenisek D, Thoreson W. Calcium-Induced Calcium Release (CICR) Triggers Fusion of Individual Synaptic Vesicles in Rod Terminals Biophysical Journal 2012, 102: 319a. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.11.1751.
  • Evanescent Field Fluorescence MicroscopyZenisek D. Evanescent Field Fluorescence Microscopy 2009, 1158-1160. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-29678-2_3104.
  • Direct Visualization of Single Membrane Scission Events at Clathrin-Coated Pits Using a Novel Optical Assay and Evanescent Field Microscopy.Merrifield C, Porrais D, Zenisek D. Direct Visualization of Single Membrane Scission Events at Clathrin-Coated Pits Using a Novel Optical Assay and Evanescent Field Microscopy. Microscopy And Microanalysis 2005, 11: 240-241. DOI: 10.1017/s1431927605505282.