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Neuroscience. 2009 Jan 12;158(1):19-24. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.01.075. Epub 2008 Feb 16.

Synaptic receptor trafficking: the lateral point of view.

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MRC Centre for Synaptic Plasticity, Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, Department of Anatomy, University Walk, Bristol, BS8 1TD, UK.


Activity dependent modification of receptors in the post-synaptic density is a key determinant in regulating the strength of synaptic transmission during development and plasticity. A major mechanism for this recruitment and removal of postsynaptic proteins is the lateral diffusion in the plane of the plasma membrane. Therefore, the processes that regulate this lateral mobility are of fundamental importance. In recent years significant progress has been achieved using optical approaches such as single particle tracking (SPT) and fluorescence recovery after photobleach (FRAP). Here, we provide an overview of the principles and methodology of these techniques and highlight the contributions they have made to current understanding of protein mobility in the plasma membrane.

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