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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1996 Dec;6(6):858-67.

Synapse maturation and structural plasticity at Drosophila neuromuscular junctions.

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Department of Biology, Morrill Science Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA.


The Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction has recently emerged as a powerful model system to characterize the cellular and molecular events involved in the formation and flexibility of synapses. The combination of molecular, genetic, electrophysiological and anatomical approaches has revealed, for example, the functional significance of the discs-large gene product (a novel synapse-organizing protein) in the nervous system. This protein is involved in the clustering of at least one ion channel and in the structural modification of glutamatergic synapses during target muscle growth. The manipulation of the genes encoding ion channels, components of second-messenger cascades, and cell adhesion molecules is beginning to tease apart the mechanisms underlying structural synaptic plasticity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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