The research in my lab research is focused on neuronal communications and plasticity. Neurons communicate by releasing transmitter molecules into the synaptic cleft. The ability of a synapse to modify its efficacy in response to activity underlies learning and memory at the cellular level. Disruptions in synaptic regulation and fine-tuning can produce severe neurological disorders, such as epilepsy. We combine diverse experimental approaches with rigorous quantitative analysis and computational modeling to understand the dynamics of transmitter release at the mechanistic and biophysical levels. We start from a relatively simple invertebrate synapse, which is ideally amendable to genetic manipulations, and then use the knowledge gained in a simpler system to address synaptic mechanisms in the mammalian brain and their function in disease states.
Feliciano P., H. Matos, R. Andrade, and M. Bykhovskaia. (2017). Synapsin II regulation of GABAergic synaptic transmission is dependent on interneuron subtype. J. Neurosci. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0844-16.2016.
Sabeva N., Cho. R., Vasin, A. Gonzalez, J.T. Littleton, and M. Bykhovskaia. (2017) Complexin Mutants Reveal Partial Segregation Between Recycling Pathways that Drive Evoked and Spontaneous Neurotransmission J Neurosci 3:383-396.
Vasin, A., Volfson, D., Littleton, J. T., and Bykhovskaia, M. (2016) Interaction of the Complexin Accessory Helix with Synaptobrevin Regulates Spontaneous Fusion, Biophys J 111, 1954-1964.
Bykhovskaia M. 2015. Calcium binding promotes conformation flexibility of neuronal calcium sensor Synaptotagmin 1. Biophys. J. 108:22507-20.
Bykhovskaia M. 2015. Calcium binding promotes conformational flexibility of the neuronal Ca2+ sensor synaptotagmin. Biophys. J. 108:2507-20.
Vasin A., L. Zueva, C.Torrez, D.Volfson, J.T.Littleton, and M.Bykhovskaia. 2014. Synapsin regulates activity-dependent outgrowth of synaptic boutons at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. J. Neurosci. 34:10554:63.
Feliciano P., R. Andrade, and M. Bykhovskaia. 2013. Synapsin II and Rab3a cooperate in the regulation of epileptic and synaptic activity at in the CA1 region of the hippocampus synapses. J. Neurosci. 33:18319-30.
Bykhovskaia M., A. Jagota, A. Gonzales, A. Vasin, and J.T. Littleton. 2013. Interaction of the complexin accessory helix with the C-terminus of the SNARE complex: molecular dynamics model of the fusion clamp. Biophys. J. 105:679-90.