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Neurochem Res. 2007 Feb;32(2):303-10. Epub 2006 Nov 2.

The CNS synapse revisited: gaps, adhesive welds, and borders.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, 3801 University Street, BT-105, H3A2B4, Montreal, QC, Canada.


Although processes leading up to the point of synapse formation are fairly well understood, the precise sequence of events in which the membranes of two separate cells "lock in" to form a mature synaptic junctional complex is poorly understood. A careful study of the molecules operating at the synapse indicates that their roles are more multifarious than once imagined. In this review we posit that the synapse is a functional organelle with poorly defined boundaries and a complex biochemistry. The role of adhesion molecules, including the integration of their signaling and adhesive properties in the context of synaptic activity is discussed.

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