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Trends Neurosci. 2015 Aug;38(8):496-505. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2015.06.004. Epub 2015 Jul 21.

The cellular and molecular landscape of neuroligins.

Author information

1
Receptor Biology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA; Department of Biology, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, 21218, USA.
2
Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
3
Departments of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA. Electronic address: roger.nicoll@ucsf.edu.
4
Receptor Biology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address: rochek@mail.nih.gov.

Abstract

A fundamental physical interaction exists across the synapse. It is mediated by synaptic adhesion molecules, and is among the earliest and most indispensable of molecular events occurring during synaptogenesis. The regulation of adhesion molecules and their interactions with other synaptic proteins likely affect not only on synapse formation but also on ongoing synaptic function. We review research on one major family of postsynaptic adhesion molecules, neuroligins, which bind to their presynaptic partner neurexin across the synaptic cleft. We move from a structural overview to the broad cellular and synaptic context of neuroligins, intermolecular interactions, and molecular modifications that occur within a synapse. Finally, we examine evidence concerning the physiological functions of neuroligin in a cell and highlight areas requiring further investigation.

PMID:
26209464
DOI:
10.1016/j.tins.2015.06.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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