Martin Müller

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States

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Publications (8)112.17 Total impact

  • Graeme W Davis, Martin Müller
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    ABSTRACT: It is well established that the active properties of nerve and muscle cells are stabilized by homeostatic signaling systems. In organisms ranging from Drosophila to humans, neurons restore baseline function in the continued presence of destabilizing perturbations by rebalancing ion channel expression, modifying neurotransmitter receptor surface expression and trafficking, and modulating neurotransmitter release. This review focuses on the homeostatic modulation of presynaptic neurotransmitter release, termed presynaptic homeostasis. First, we highlight criteria that can be used to define a process as being under homeostatic control. Next, we review the remarkable conservation of presynaptic homeostasis at the Drosophila, mouse, and human neuromuscular junctions and emerging parallels at synaptic connections in the mammalian central nervous system. We then highlight recent progress identifying cellular and molecular mechanisms. We conclude by reviewing emerging parallels between the mechanisms of homeostatic signaling and genetic links to neurological disease. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Physiology Volume 77 is February 10, 2015. Please see for revised estimates.
    Annual review of physiology. 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: An electrophysiology-based forward genetic screen has identified two genes, pickpocket11 (ppk11) and pickpocket16 (ppk16), as being necessary for the homeostatic modulation of presynaptic neurotransmitter release at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Pickpocket genes encode Degenerin/Epithelial Sodium channel subunits (DEG/ENaC). We demonstrate that ppk11 and ppk16 are necessary in presynaptic motoneurons for both the acute induction and long-term maintenance of synaptic homeostasis. We show that ppk11 and ppk16 are cotranscribed as a single mRNA that is upregulated during homeostatic plasticity. Acute pharmacological inhibition of a PPK11- and PPK16-containing channel abolishes the expression of short- and long-term homeostatic plasticity without altering baseline presynaptic neurotransmitter release, indicating remarkable specificity for homeostatic plasticity rather than NMJ development. Finally, presynaptic calcium imaging experiments support a model in which a PPK11- and PPK16-containing DEG/ENaC channel modulates presynaptic membrane voltage and, thereby, controls calcium channel activity to homeostatically regulate neurotransmitter release.
    Neuron 08/2013; · 15.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rab3 interacting molecules (RIMs) are evolutionarily conserved scaffolding proteins that are located at presynaptic active zones. In the mammalian nervous system, RIMs have two major activities that contribute to the fidelity of baseline synaptic transmission: they concentrate calcium channels at the active zone and facilitate synaptic vesicle docking/priming. Here we confirm that RIM has an evolutionarily conserved function at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction and then define a novel role for RIM during homeostatic synaptic plasticity. We show that loss of RIM disrupts baseline vesicle release, diminishes presynaptic calcium influx, and diminishes the size of the readily-releasable pool (RRP) of synaptic vesicles, consistent with known activities of RIM. However, loss of RIM also completely blocks the homeostatic enhancement of presynaptic neurotransmitter release that normally occurs after inhibition of postsynaptic glutamate receptors, a process termed synaptic homeostasis. It is established that synaptic homeostasis requires enhanced presynaptic calcium influx as a mechanism to potentiate vesicle release. However, despite a defect in baseline calcium influx in rim mutants, the homeostatic modulation of calcium influx proceeds normally. Synaptic homeostasis is also correlated with an increase in the size of the RRP of synaptic vesicles, although the mechanism remains unknown. Here we demonstrate that the homeostatic modulation of the RRP is blocked in the rim mutant background. Therefore, RIM-dependent modulation of the RRP is a required step during homeostatic plasticity. By extension, homeostatic plasticity appears to require two genetically separable processes, the enhancement of presynaptic calcium influx and a RIM-dependent modulation of the RRP.
    Journal of Neuroscience 11/2012; 32(47):16574-85. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    Martin Müller, Graeme W Davis
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    ABSTRACT: Given the complexity of the nervous system and its capacity for change, it is remarkable that robust, reproducible neural function and animal behavior can be achieved. It is now apparent that homeostatic signaling systems have evolved to stabilize neural function. At the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of organisms ranging from Drosophila to human, inhibition of postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptor function causes a homeostatic increase in presynaptic release that precisely restores postsynaptic excitation. Here we address what occurs within the presynaptic terminal to achieve homeostatic potentiation of release at the Drosophila NMJ. By imaging presynaptic Ca(2+) transients evoked by single action potentials, we reveal a retrograde, transsynaptic modulation of presynaptic Ca(2+) influx that is sufficient to account for the rapid induction and sustained expression of the homeostatic change in vesicle release. We show that the homeostatic increase in Ca(2+) influx and release is blocked by a point mutation in the presynaptic CaV2.1 channel, demonstrating that the modulation of presynaptic Ca(2+) influx through this channel is causally required for homeostatic potentiation of release. Together with additional analyses, we establish that retrograde, transsynaptic modulation of presynaptic Ca(2+) influx through CaV2.1 channels is a key factor underlying the homeostatic regulation of neurotransmitter release.
    Current biology: CB 05/2012; 22(12):1102-8. · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular machinery mediating the fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) at presynaptic active zone (AZ) membranes has been studied in detail, and several essential components have been identified. AZ-associated protein scaffolds are viewed as only modulatory for transmission. We discovered that Drosophila Rab3-interacting molecule (RIM)-binding protein (DRBP) is essential not only for the integrity of the AZ scaffold but also for exocytotic neurotransmitter release. Two-color stimulated emission depletion microscopy showed that DRBP surrounds the central Ca(2+) channel field. In drbp mutants, Ca(2+) channel clustering and Ca(2+) influx were impaired, and synaptic release probability was drastically reduced. Our data identify RBP family proteins as prime effectors of the AZ scaffold that are essential for the coupling of SVs, Ca(2+) channels, and the SV fusion machinery.
    Science 12/2011; 334(6062):1565-9. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We provide evidence for a prodegenerative, glial-derived signaling framework in the Drosophila neuromuscular system that includes caspase and mitochondria-dependent signaling. We demonstrate that Drosophila TNF-α (eiger) is expressed in a subset of peripheral glia, and the TNF-α receptor (TNFR), Wengen, is expressed in motoneurons. NMJ degeneration caused by disruption of the spectrin/ankyrin skeleton is suppressed by an eiger mutation or by eiger knockdown within a subset of peripheral glia. Loss of wengen in motoneurons causes a similar suppression providing evidence for glial-derived prodegenerative TNF-α signaling. Neither JNK nor NFκβ is required for prodegenerative signaling. However, we provide evidence for the involvement of both an initiator and effector caspase, Dronc and Dcp-1, and mitochondrial-dependent signaling. Mutations that deplete the axon and nerve terminal of mitochondria suppress degeneration as do mutations in Drosophila Bcl-2 (debcl), a mitochondria-associated protein, and Apaf-1 (dark), which links mitochondrial signaling with caspase activity in other systems.
    Neuron 12/2011; 72(5):760-75. · 15.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Homeostatic signaling systems stabilize neural function through the modulation of neurotransmitter receptor abundance, ion channel density, and presynaptic neurotransmitter release. Molecular mechanisms that drive these changes are being unveiled. In theory, molecular mechanisms may also exist to oppose the induction or expression of homeostatic plasticity, but these mechanisms have yet to be explored. In an ongoing electrophysiology-based genetic screen, we have tested 162 new mutations for genes involved in homeostatic signaling at the Drosophila NMJ. This screen identified a mutation in the rab3-GAP gene. We show that Rab3-GAP is necessary for the induction and expression of synaptic homeostasis. We then provide evidence that Rab3-GAP relieves an opposing influence on homeostasis that is catalyzed by Rab3 and which is independent of any change in NMJ anatomy. These data define roles for Rab3-GAP and Rab3 in synaptic homeostasis and uncover a mechanism, acting at a late stage of vesicle release, that opposes the progression of homeostatic plasticity.
    Neuron 02/2011; 69(4):749-62. · 15.77 Impact Factor
  • Martin Müller, Graeme W Davis
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    ABSTRACT: In this issue of Neuron, Burgalossi et al. investigate synaptic vesicle priming by using presynaptic Ca(2+) uncaging at a small, glutamatergic, central synapse. Combining this technique with mouse genetics, the authors demonstrate that vesicle priming during ongoing neural activity can be limited by the recycling of recently used SNARE complexes.
    Neuron 11/2010; 68(3):324-6. · 15.77 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

97 Citations
112.17 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2013
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
      San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 2012
    • Freie Universität Berlin
      • Institute of Biology
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany