Research SummaryTowards understanding the mechanism of anti-potentiation
Synapses are essential for brain functions. Normal functioning of synapses is required for all activities from the generation of movement to learning and memory. Synaptic function requires a co-ordination between pre-synaptic neurotransmitter release and post-synaptic receptor levels. In my lab we use C. elegans as a model system to study the development and function of synapses. Multiple studies have revealed that that cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are required for normal synapse formation and function. We are interested in understanding the signaling functions of CAMs at the NMJ. Our work has let to the elucidation of the molecular mechanism of now a neural CAM functions to maintain post-synaptic receptor levels as well as how a Cadherin/Calsyntenin is involved in pre-synaptic neurotransmitter release.
Apart from studying the C. elegans NMJ, we are also interested in understanding how neuropeptides function in behavioural circuits. We try to understand how neuopeptides function and the receptors through which they function in worm movement. Our work has let to the identification of the neuropeptide FLP-18 and it's receptors in maintaining normal reversal movement.