Acute exposure to ethanol is known to modulate signalling within the nervous system. Physiologically these effects are both presynaptic and postsynaptic in origin; however, considerably more research has focused primarily on postsynaptic targets. Recent research using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans has determined a role for specific proteins (Munc18-1 and Rab3) and processes (synaptic vesicle recruitment and fusion) in transducing the presynaptic effects of ethanol. In the present paper, we review these results, identifying the proteins and protein interactions involved in ethanol sensitivity and discuss their links with mammalian studies of alcohol abuse.
- Caenorhabditis elegans
Molecular Mechanisms in Exocytosis and Endocytosis: 7th Junior Academics Meeting, an Independent Meeting held at University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, U.K., 5–7 April 2009. Organized and Edited by Rolly Wiegand (Edinburgh, U.K.).
Abbreviations: GABA, γ-aminobutyric acid; SM, Sec1/Munc18; SNARE, soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor; VA, volatile anaesthetic
- © The Authors Journal compilation © 2010 Biochemical Society