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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2010 Oct;20(5):631-9. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2010.06.010. Epub 2010 Jul 23.

Synaptic stability and plasticity in a floating world.

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  • 1Biologie Cellulaire de la Synapse, Institute de Biologie de l'Ecole Normale Sup√©rieure, 46 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris, France.


A fundamental feature of membranes is the lateral diffusion of lipids and proteins. Control of lateral diffusion provides a mechanism for regulating the structure and function of synapses. Single-particle tracking (SPT) has emerged as a powerful way to directly visualize these movements. SPT can reveal complex diffusive behaviors, which can be regulated by neuronal activity over time and space. Such is the case for neurotransmitter receptors, which are transiently stabilized at synapses by scaffolding molecules. This regulation provides new insight into mechanisms by which the dynamic equilibrium of receptor-scaffold assembly can be regulated. We will briefly review here recent data on this mechanism, which ultimately tunes the number of receptors at synapses and therefore synaptic strength.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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