Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Nanocolumns at the heart of the synapse

A nanocolumn spans the synaptic cleft between neurons, connecting regions of neurotransmitter molecule release and capture. This discovery informs on mechanisms of synaptic organization and regulation. See Letter p.210

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Architecture of a synapse.


  1. 1.

    See all news & views


  1. 1

    Chia, P. H., Li, P. & Shen, K. J. Cell Biol. 203, 11–22 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Tang, A.-H. et al. Nature 536, 210–214 (2016).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Ackermann, F., Waites, C. L. & Garner, C. C. EMBO Rep. 16, 923–938 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Maglione, M. & Sigrist, S. J. Nature Neurosci. 16, 790–797 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Matkovic, T. et al. J. Cell Biol. 202, 667–683 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Fernández-Busnadiego, R. et al. J. Cell Biol. 201, 725–740 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Deng, L., Kaeser, P. S., Xu, W. & Südhof, T. C. Neuron 69, 317–331 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Han, Y., Kaeser, P. S., Südhof, T. C. & Schneggenburger, R. Neuron 69, 304–316 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Rust, M. J., Bates, M. & Zhuang, X. Nature Meth. 3, 793–795 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Nair, D. et al. J. Neurosci. 33, 13204–13224 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    MacGillavry, H. D., Song, Y., Raghavachari, S. & Blanpied, T. A. Neuron 78, 615–622 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Kaeser, P. S. et al. Cell 144, 282–295 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Stephan J. Sigrist or Astrid G. Petzoldt.

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Cell biology: On the endocytosis rollercoaster

Developmental biology: Nanotubes in the niche

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sigrist, S., Petzoldt, A. Nanocolumns at the heart of the synapse. Nature 536, 151–152 (2016).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing