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Professor Ko Jaewon

"Professor Ko Jaewon’s Research Team discovers Novel Synaptogenic Protein involved in Synapse Formation and Function"

"Finds a Novel Synaptogenesis Mechanism"

A research team led by Prof. Ko Jaewon from the Department of Biochemistry of the College of Life Science and Biotechnology has uncovered the crucial role of the protein Calsyntenin-3 (CST-3) in regulating synapse formation and function and neuronal development. Identification of the synapse organizers has been essential for understanding how a brain works, considering huge number of neurons and synapses in it. The research team found that CST-3 is specifically required for inhibitory synapse formation and function, partly in conjunction with neurexins, critical players in presynaptic organization. The results of the research were published March 6 in the online version of Cell Reports—the sister journal of Cell—under the title “Calsyntenins Function as Synaptogenic Adhesion Molecules in Concert with neurexins.” The other members of Prof. Ko’s international team were Yonsei Research Prof. Um Ji Won (Biochemistry; first author of the study), Yonsei PhD candidate Ko Ji Seung (Biochemistry), nobel Laureate Thomas C. Südhof (Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University), Katsuhiko Tabuchi and Gopal Pramanik (Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Shinsu University), Kim Hyun and Lee Dongmin (Anatomy and neuroscience, Korea University), and Park Kang-Sik and Song Min-Young (Physiology and neuroscience, Kyung Hee University). The project received funding support from a variety of sources, including the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, the national Research Foundation of Korea (nRF), and the Ministry of Public Health and Welfare. According to the authors, the research will have important implications in terms of better understanding and designing therapeutic strategies against several neurological disorders associated with dysfunctions of CSTs.

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