communication is mediated primarily by chemical transmission
across synapses. At presynaptic terminals, proper transmission
requires not only exocytosis of synaptic vesicles but also their
rapid replenishment by endocytosis. The goal of Dr. Zhang's
laboratory is to elucidate molecular mechanisms of the latter
process, synaptic vesicle recycling. Specifically, Dr. Zhang
is interested in understanding how synaptic vesicle endocytosis
is initiated and regulated, how synaptic vesicles are reformed,
and how recycling affects exocytosis and synaptic plasticity.
To address these questions, Dr. Zhang is using the fruit fly
Drosophila as a model system to reveal in vivo functions of
endocytic proteins through mutational analysis of their genes.
This genetic approach is complemented with molecular biology,
cell biology, optical imaging, and electrophysiology.
The current focus of Dr. Zhang's laboratory is to investigate
the roles of two clathrin-binding proteins in synaptic vesicle
recycling and synaptic plasticity: LAP (a homolog of mammalian
AP180) and LQF (an EPSIN homolog, through collaboration with
Dr. Janice Fischer). In addition, GFP-tagged transgenic flies
are used to study the dynamics of synaptic vesicle trafficking.
Several temperature-sensitive paralytic mutants are also being
characterized in order to uncover novel molecules important
for synaptic functions. Students will have the opportunity to
receive training in multiple disciplines by performing independent
B. Zhang, Y. H. Koh, R. B., Beckstead, V. Budnick, B. Ganetzsky,
and H. J. Bellen (1998) Synaptic vesicle size and number are
regulated by a clathrin adaptor protein required for endocytosis.
Zhang, B. Ganetzky, H. J. Bellen, and V. N. Murthy (1999) Tailoring
uniform coats for synaptic vesicles during endocytosis. Neuron
Zhang and M. Ramaswami (1999) Synaptic vesicle endocytosis and
recycling. In: Frontiers in Molecular Biology: Neurotransmitter
Release, H. Bellen, ed. Oxford University Press, London. pp.
Mao, Jue Chen, Jennifer A. Maynard, Bing Zhang, and Florante
A. Quiocho (2001). A novel all helix fold of the AP180 amino-terminal
domain for phosphoinositide binding and clathrin assembly in
synaptic vesicle endocytosis. Cell 104:433-440.
C. Zelhof, H. Bao, R.W. Hardy, A. Razzaq, B. Zhang, and C.Q.
Doe.(2001). Drosophila Amphiphysin is implicated in protein
localization and membrane morphogenesis but not in synaptic
vesicle endocytosis. Development 128 :5005-15.
Chen, B. Zhang, and J.A. Fischer. (2002). A specific protein
substrate for a deubiquitinating enzyme: Liquid facets is the
substrate of Fat facets. Genes Dev.16: 289-94.
Marqués, H. Bao, T. E. Haerry, M. J. Shimell, P. Duchek,
B. Zhang, and M. B. O'Connor. (2002). The Drosophila BMP Type
II Receptor Wishful Thinking Regulates Neuromuscular Synapse
Morphology and Function. Neuron 33: 529-543.
Pre-doctoral Training Fellow, 1994 - 1995
NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1995 - 1997 (second year
ACS Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1996 - 1999
Postdoctoral Associate Award, Howard Hughes Medical Institute,