Dynamics of postsynaptic glutamate receptor targeting

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3200, USA.
Current Opinion in Neurobiology (Impact Factor: 6.63). 03/2007; 17(1):53-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2006.11.001
Source: PubMed


Targeting of glutamate receptors to synapses is an important event in both developing and mature neurons. Glutamate receptors are delivered to nascent synapses during synaptogenesis and to existing synapses during activity-dependent synaptic strengthening. Increasing evidence suggests that glutamate receptors are inserted into the plasma membrane before they accumulate at the synapse. Lateral diffusion of receptors occurs at both synaptic and non-synaptic membranes, and glutamate receptors can exchange rapidly between synaptic and extrasynaptic sites. In addition, recent studies show that postsynaptic scaffold molecules can be highly mobile. The dynamic nature of the synapse suggests that many mechanisms might be involved in regulating synapse formation and synaptic plasticity.

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