Assembly and plasticity of the glutamatergic postsynaptic specialization

Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Aaron W McGee, David S Bredt

Abstract

Glutamate mediates most excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain. Synaptic strength at glutamatergic synapses shows a remarkable degree of use-dependent plasticity and such modifications may represent a physiological correlate to learning and memory. Glutamate receptors and downstream enzymes are organized at synapses by cytoskeletal proteins containing multiple protein-interacting domains. Recent studies demonstrate that these 'scaffolding' proteins within the postsynaptic specialization have the capacity to promote synaptic maturation, influence synapse size, and modulate glutamate receptor function.

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