Active zone protein ELKS (IPR019323)

Short name: ELKS/CAST

Overlapping homologous superfamilies


Family relationships


The active zone is the presynaptic region in the nerve terminals that mediates neurotransmitter release and is composed a dense collection of proteins called the cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ). The CAZ proteins are thought to mediate synapse formation and regulate neurotransmitter release [PMID: 22933801, PMID: 24348337].

This entry represents the ELKS family, which are thought to be involved in the organisation of CAZ. Vertebrate ELKS proteins are produced by two genes, ERC1 and ERC2. Caenorhabditis elegans expresses a homologue of ELKS that acts downstream of syd2/liprin-alpha during active zone assembly [PMID: 17115037]. Drosophila melanogaster expresses a related protein termed bruchpilot (brp) that consists of a conserved N terminus and a C-terminal half with no homologous sequences in vertebrates. Brp is required for structural integrity and function of synaptic active zones [PMID: 16543132]. Vertebrate ELKS proteins are enriched at presynaptic active zones [PMID: 16543132] and support Ca2+ influx at nerve terminals of inhibitory hippocampal neurons [PMID: 25209271]. They have a C-terminal PDZ-binding motif that binds directly to RIM (a small G protein Rab-3A effector). These proteins also contain four coiled-coil domains [PMID: 12391317].

GO terms

Biological Process

No terms assigned in this category.

Molecular Function

No terms assigned in this category.

Cellular Component

GO:0048786 presynaptic active zone

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.