SYNGAP1: Mind the Gap

Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Nallathambi Jeyabalan, James P Clement


A cardinal feature of early stages of human brain development centers on the sensory, cognitive, and emotional experiences that shape neuronal-circuit formation and refinement. Consequently, alterations in these processes account for many psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Neurodevelopment disorders affect 3-4% of the world population. The impact of these disorders presents a major challenge to clinicians, geneticists, and neuroscientists. Mutations that cause neurodevelopmental disorders are commonly found in genes encoding proteins that regulate synaptic function. Investigation of the underlying mechanisms using gain or loss of function approaches has revealed alterations in dendritic spine structure, function, and plasticity, consequently modulating the neuronal circuit formation and thereby raising the possibility of neurodevelopmental disorders resulting from synaptopathies. One such gene, SYNGAP1 (Synaptic Ras-GTPase-activating protein) has been shown to cause Intellectual Disability (ID) with comorbid Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and epilepsy in children. SYNGAP1 is a negative regulator of Ras, Rap and of AMPA receptor trafficking to the postsynaptic membrane, thereby regulating not only synaptic plasticity,...Continue Reading


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