Author(s): Sheng M, Kim E
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Abstract The postsynaptic side of the synapse is specialized to receive the neurotransmitter signal released from the presynaptic terminal and transduce it into electrical and biochemical changes in the postsynaptic cell. The cardinal functional components of the postsynaptic specialization of excitatory and inhibitory synapses are the ionotropic receptors (ligand-gated channels) for glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), respectively. These receptor channels are concentrated at the postsynaptic membrane and embedded in a dense and rich protein network comprised of anchoring and scaffolding molecules, signaling enzymes, cytoskeletal components, as well as other membrane proteins. Excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic specializations are quite different in molecular organization. The postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses is especially complex and dynamic in composition and regulation; it contains hundreds of different proteins, many of which are required for cognitive function and implicated in psychiatric illness.
This article was published in Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics