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Molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic maintenance and rejuvenation

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 HEALTHYSYNAPSES project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the HEALTHYSYNAPSES project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "HEALTHYSYNAPSES" about.

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Project "HEALTHYSYNAPSES" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 9052

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Project website
 Total cost 160˙800 €
 EC max contribution 160˙800 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-03-01   to  2018-02-28


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    VIB BE (ZWIJNAARDE - GENT) coordinator 160˙800.00


 Project objective

The deterioration of brain function and prevalence of dementias are some of the most striking and unfortunate consequences of ageing. Proper neuronal function relies on accurate signal transmission via synapses. While the basic cell biology of synaptic transmission is well studied, how precise activity is maintained over time remains poorly understood. Several age-dependent neurodegenerative conditions, characterized by the build-up of protein aggregates, affect synaptic function. These observations are consistent with a model where defects in the repair mechanisms that clear away defective proteins may constitute the basis for synaptic dysfunction and neurodegeneration. However, the processes that control protein rejuvenation at the synapse remain elusive. Autophagy is a process that is well suited for this purpose as it has emerged as a major means by which the cell can degrade dysfunctional components but a specific role for autophagy at the synapse has not been established. Levels in autophagy have been strongly linked to longevity and neuronal health. I hypothesize that autophagy plays an important role in synapse maintenance and that synaptic autophagy is disrupted during ageing and in neurodegenerative diseases. I will utilize a diverse set of approaches to elucidate the link between autophagy and changes in synaptic function during ageing in Drosophila. By generating novel optogenetic tools, I propose to test how the precise modulation of autophagy can influence synaptic function and whether boosting synaptic autophagy is beneficial in ageing and disease conditions. Furthermore, I will conduct a large-scale genetic screen for identifying genes regulating synaptic autophagy. Finally, I will explore the intriguing connections between synaptic proteins implicated in Parkinson’s disease and autophagy. Revealing the mechanisms underlying synaptic maintenance and health will help guide strategies for alleviating the undesirable effects of ageing.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Vinoy Vijayan, Patrik Verstreken
Autophagy in the presynaptic compartment in health and disease
published pages: 1895-1906, ISSN: 0021-9525, DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201611113
The Journal of Cell Biology 216/7 2019-06-17

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The information about "HEALTHYSYNAPSES" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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