and function of neuromuscular synapses using normal and mutant Drosophila
to analyze these processes at the cellular and molecular levels. Mathematical
modelling of muscle fibers and dendrites receiving multiple synchronous
synaptic inputs. We are particularly interested in understanding the interactions
between the pre- and postsynaptic cells that give rise to the specific
physiological capabilities of a synapse. The muscle fiber responds to
the presence of a motor nerve terminal by developing a structurally and
molecularly complicated structure beneath it. The shape of this postsynaptic
structure and the specific population of proteins inserted in it determine
the functional properties. We analyze these structural features using
immunolabelling, thin section electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy,
electrophysiology and computer modelling. We use Drosophila mutants defective
in particular synaptic proteins to explore both the primary and secondary
effects on the postsynaptic specializations.
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