RIKEN's New Research Center for Brain Science: RIKEN CBS Website


Faculty Detail / 研究室詳細

Thomas Launey, Ph.D.

- We will discover how short-lived protein assemblies process and store synaptic signals to create long-lasting memories.

Synaptic Molecules of Memory Persistence

Team Leader

Synapse plasticity, System neuroscience, Protein assemblies

Thomas  Launey

Research Area

Proteins are short-lived but the memories that they encode in the nervous tissue may last for decades. We are investigating the cellular and molecular basis of long term synaptic plasticity in the cerebellum, at synapse between granule neurons and Purkinje neurons. Our aim is to fully characterize the molecular signaling cascades accompanying plasticity induction and the stable reorganization of protein assemblies and cellular organelles that underlies the formation of life-long memories. To achieve this goal, we synergistically study four aspects of signaling dynamics: (1) RNAs: By capturing the protein-coding RNAs specifically from Purkinje neurons, we want to establish an exhaustive "parts list" of all the proteins relevant to the function of this neuron. (2) Proteins: With Purkinje cell targeted neuroproteomics, we want to identify proteins newly synthesized in response to neuronal stimulation, with particular interest for proteins locally synthesized in dendrites. (3) Shape: With high-resolution 3D reconstruction of dendrite/spine ultrastructure, we want to characterize alterations of organelles following stimulation. (4) Interactions: With patch-clamp recording and fluorescence imaging of Purkinje cells in cerebellar circuit reconstituted in-vitro, we want to measure change of synaptic plasticity following ablation/alteration of specific proteins. Ultimately, our aim is to construct a complete and accurate mechanistic description of all the molecular/cellular events within the spines and dendritic shaft of Purkinje cells, accounting for all forms of post-synaptic plasticity at synapses between granule and Purkinje neurons.

Selected Publications View All

  1. 1

    Iannella N., Launey T., Abbott D., and Tanaka S.: "A nonlinear cable framework for bidirectional synaptic plasticity.", PLoS One, (Published August 22, 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102601) (2014)

  2. 2

    Kratz A*., Beguin P*, Kaneko M., Chimura T., Suzuki A.M., Matsunaga, A., Kato S., Bertin N., Lassmann T., Vigot R., Carninci P., Plessy C., and Launey T.: "Digital expression profiling of the compartmentalized translatome of Purkinje neurons.", Genome Research, (advanced publication June 5th, doi:10.1101/gr.164095.113). (2014)

  3. 3

    Béguin P, Nagashima K, Mahalakshmi RN, Vigot R, Matsunaga A, Miki T, Ng MY, Ng YJ, Lim CH, Tay HS, Hwang LA, Firsov D, Tang BL, Inagaki N, Mori Y, Seino S, Launey T, and Hunziker W: "BARP associates with voltage-gated calcium channel β-subunits to regulate Ca2+-channel activity and Ca2+-evoked exocytosis.", Journal of Cell Biology, 205(2), 233-49 (Published April 1st 2014) DOI:10.1083/jcb.201304101 (2014)

  4. 4

    Sur S., Guler M.O., Webber M.J., Pashuck E.T., Ito M., Stupp S.I., and Launey T.: "Synergistic regulation of cerebellar Purkinje neuron development by laminin epitopes and collagen on an artificial hybrid matrix construct.", Biomater. Sci., (Advance Article: DOI: 10.1039/C3BM60228A) (2014)

  5. 5

    Sur S, Pashuck ET, Guler MO, Ito M, Stupp SI, and Launey T: "A hybrid nanofiber matrix to control the survival and maturation of brain neurons.", Biomaterials (2012)

  6. 6

    Chimura T, Launey T, and Ito M: "Evolutionarily conserved bias of amino-acid usage refines the definition of PDZ-binding motif.", BMC Genomics, 12, 300 (2011)

  7. 7

    Iannella NL, Launey T, and Tanaka S.: "Spike timing-dependent plasticity as the origin of the formation of clustered synaptic efficacy engrams.", Front Comput Neurosci, 4. pii, 21 (2010)

  8. 8

    Perron A, Mutoh H, Launey T, and Knopfel T.: "Red-shifted voltage-sensitive fluorescent proteins.", Chem Biol, 16(12), 1268-77 (2010)

  9. 9

    Bannai H, Levi S, Schweizer C, Inoue T, Launey T, Racine V, Sibarita JB, Mikoshiba K, and Triller A.: "Activity-dependent tuning of inhibitory neurotransmission based on GABAAR diffusion dynamics.", Neuron, 62(5), 670-82 (2009)

  10. 10

    Launey T, Endo S, Sakai R, Harano J, and Ito M.: "Protein phosphatase 2A inhibition induces cerebellar long-term depression and declustering of synaptic AMPA receptor.", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 101(2), 676-81 (2003)

  11. 11

    Endo S, and Launey T: "Nitric oxide activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and enhances declustering of ionotropic glutamate receptor subunit 2/3 in rat cerebellar Purkinje cells.", Neurosci Lett, 350(2), 122-6 (2003)

  12. 12

    Hirai H, Launey T, Mikawa S, Yanagihara D, Kasaura T, Miyamoto A, and Yuzaki M.: "Antibody against a putative ligand binding site reveals the d2 glutamate receptor function.", Nature Neuroscience, 6(8), 869-876 (2003)

  13. 13

    Hirai H, and Launey T.: "The regulatory connection between the activity of granule cell NMDA receptors and dendritic differentiation of cerebellar Purkinje cells.", J Neurosci, 20(14), 5217-24 (2000)

  14. 14

    Matsuda S, Launey T, Mikawa S, and Hirai H.: "Disruption of AMPA receptor GluR2 clusters following long-term depression induction in cerebellar Purkinje neurons.", EMBO J, 19(12), 2765-74 (2000)

Press Releases View All