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Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences

Laboratory of Molecular Synaptic Function

Takeshi Sakaba,Dr.
Takeshi Sakaba,Ph.D.
Synaptic contacts mediate the information transfer between neurons. Since the development of the slice patch clamp technique in the late 1980s, it has been shown that different synaptic connections in mammalian brain show remarkably diverse transmission properties and variable levels of synaptic plasticity, which are possibly adapted to specific tasks of information processing. The group aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying the diversity among synapses by applying biophysical techniques to several model synapses:the glutamatergic calyx of Held synapse, the GABAergic cerebellar interneuron-Purkinje cell synapse and synaptic connections between cortical neurons. In addition, we study how the observed diversity in synaptic properties as well as membrane properties of the cells affects information processing in cerebellum and cortex. We try to identify the rule of connectivity pattern within a small ensemble of neurons in cerebellum and cortex.

Research topics

synaptic diversity: Underlying mechanisms and its functional implication in neural circuits

Selected publications

  1. Yao L, Sakaba T (2012) Activity-dependent modulation of endocytosis by calmodulin at a large central synapse. PNAS 109: 291-296.
  2. Trigo FF, Sakaba T, Ogden D, Marty A (2012) Readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles measured at single synaptic contacts. PNAS 109:18138-18143.
  3. Sakaba T, Kononenko NL, Bacetic J, Pechstein A, Schmoranzer J, Yao L, Barth H, Shupliakov O, Kobler O, Aktories A, Haucke A (2013) Fast neurotransmitter release regulated by the endocytotic scaffold intersectin. PNAS 110: 8266-8271.
  4. Lipstein N*, Sakaba T*, Cooper BH, Lin KH, Strenzke N, Ashery U, Rhee JS, Tasschenberger H, Neher E, Brose N (2013) Dynamic control of synaptic vesicle replenishmentand short-term plasticity by Ca-calmodluin-Munc13-1 signalling. Neuron 79, 82-96 (*, equal contribution).
  5. Midorikawa M, Okamoto Y, Sakaba T (2014) Developmental changes in Ca2+ channel subtypes regulating endocytosis at the calyx of Held. J. Physiol. 592:3495-510.
  6. Kawaguchi SY, Sakaba T (2015) Control of inhibitory synaptic outputs by low excitability of axon terminals revealed by direct recording. Neuron 85:1273-1288.
  7. Díaz-Rojas F, Sakaba T, Kawaguchi SY (2015) Ca2+ current facilitation determines short-term facilitation at inhibitory synapses between cerebellar Purkinje cells. J. Physiol. Online.
  8. Midorikawa M, Sakaba T (2015) Imaging exocytosis of single synaptic vesicles at a fast CNS presynaptic terminal. Neuron 88:492-498.
  9. Okamoto Y., Lipstein N., Hua Y., Lin KH., Brose N., Sakaba T., Midorikawa M. (2016) Distinct modes of endocytotic presynaptic membrane and protein uptake at the calyx of Held terminal of rats and mice. eLife. 5: e14643.


Takeshi Sakaba, Ph.D. (Principal investigator, Professor)
Yuki Hashimotodani, Ph.D. (Research associate professor)
Takafumi Miki, Ph.D. (Research assistant professor)


Sakaba Lab


4F Hochikan, 1-3 Tatara Miyakodani, Kyotanabe-shi, Kyoto 610‐0394
Telephone : +81-774-65-6057
E-mail : tsakaba@mail.doshisha.ac.jp