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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2017 Mar;18(3):147-157. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2016.183. Epub 2017 Feb 9.

SHANK proteins: roles at the synapse and in autism spectrum disorder.

Monteiro P1,2,3,4, Feng G1,2.

Author information

McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.
Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, 4704-553 Braga, Portugal.
Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS)/3B's PT Government Associate Laboratory, University of Minho, Braga/GuimarĂ£es, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal.


Several large-scale genomic studies have supported an association between cases of autism spectrum disorder and mutations in the genes SH3 and multiple ankyrin repeat domains protein 1 (SHANK1), SHANK2 and SHANK3, which encode a family of postsynaptic scaffolding proteins that are present at glutamatergic synapses in the CNS. An evaluation of human genetic data, as well as of in vitro and in vivo animal model data, may allow us to understand how disruption of SHANK scaffolding proteins affects the structure and function of neural circuits and alters behaviour.

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