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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Dec 19;1573(3):369-76.

Glycobiology of the synapse: the role of glycans in the formation, maturation, and modulation of synapses.

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  • 1Neurobiology Program, The Burnham Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Synapses, which are the fundamental functional unit of the nervous system, are considered to be highly specialized cell adhesion structures. Studies since the 1960s demonstrated that various carbohydrates and glycoproteins are expressed in synapses in the central and peripheral nervous system. Although the functional roles of these synaptic carbohydrates and glycoproteins remain to be determined, rapidly accumulating data suggest that they may play critical roles in the formation, maturation, and functional modulation of synapses.

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