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Science 297 (5586): 1525-1531

Copyright © 2002 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

SynCAM, a Synaptic Adhesion Molecule That Drives Synapse Assembly

Thomas Biederer,1* Yildirim Sara,1 Marina Mozhayeva,1 Deniz Atasoy,1 Xinran Liu,12 Ege T. Kavalali,13 Thomas C. Südhof124*

Synapses, the junctions between nerve cells through which they communicate, are formed by the coordinated assembly and tight attachment of pre- and postsynaptic specializations. We now show that SynCAM is a brain-specific, immunoglobulin domain-containing protein that binds to intracellular PDZ-domain proteins and functions as a homophilic cell adhesion molecule at the synapse. Expression of the isolated cytoplasmic tail of SynCAM in neurons inhibited synapse assembly. Conversely, expression of full-length SynCAM in nonneuronal cells induced synapse formation by cocultured hippocampal neurons with normal release properties. Glutamatergic synaptic transmission was reconstituted in these nonneuronal cells by coexpressing glutamate receptors with SynCAM, which suggests that a single type of adhesion molecule and glutamate receptor are sufficient for a functional postsynaptic response.

1 Center for Basic Neuroscience, Departments of
2 Molecular Genetics, and
3 Physiology, and
4 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: Thomas.Sudhof{at} (T.C.S.); Thomas.Biederer{at} (T.B.)

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Oligo-Astheno-Teratozoospermia in Mice Lacking RA175/TSLC1/SynCAM/IGSF4A, a Cell Adhesion Molecule in the Immunoglobulin Superfamily.
E. Fujita, Y. Kouroku, S. Ozeki, Y. Tanabe, Y. Toyama, M. Maekawa, N. Kojima, H. Senoo, K. Toshimori, and T. Momoi (2006)
Mol. Cell. Biol. 26, 718-726
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Human Lung Mast Cells Adhere to Human Airway Smooth Muscle, in Part, via Tumor Suppressor in Lung Cancer-1.
W. Yang, D. Kaur, Y. Okayama, A. Ito, A. J. Wardlaw, C. E. Brightling, and P. Bradding (2006)
J. Immunol. 176, 1238-1243
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Tumor Suppressor in Lung Cancer (TSLC)1 Suppresses Epithelial Cell Scattering and Tubulogenesis.
M. Masuda, S. Kikuchi, T. Maruyama, M. Sakurai-Yageta, Y. N. Williams, H. P. Ghosh, and Y. Murakami (2005)
J. Biol. Chem. 280, 42164-42171
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The tumor suppressor TSLC1/NECL-2 triggers NK-cell and CD8+ T-cell responses through the cell-surface receptor CRTAM.
K. S. Boles, W. Barchet, T. Diacovo, M. Cella, and M. Colonna (2005)
Blood 106, 779-786
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Cell junction-associated proteins IQGAP1, MAGI-2, CASK, spectrins, and {alpha}-actinin are components of the nephrin multiprotein complex.
S. Lehtonen, J. J. Ryan, K. Kudlicka, N. Iino, H. Zhou, and M. G. Farquhar (2005)
PNAS 102, 9814-9819
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
A GFP-based genetic screen reveals mutations that disrupt the architecture of the zebrafish retinotectal projection.
T. Xiao, T. Roeser, W. Staub, and H. Baier (2005)
Development 132, 2955-2967
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Reelin, Very-Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor, and Apolipoprotein E Receptor 2 Control Somatic NMDA Receptor Composition during Hippocampal Maturation In Vitro.
M. Sinagra, D. Verrier, D. Frankova, K. M. Korwek, J. Blahos, E. J. Weeber, O. J. Manzoni, and P. Chavis (2005)
J. Neurosci. 25, 6127-6136
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Fasciclin II Signals New Synapse Formation through Amyloid Precursor Protein and the Scaffolding Protein dX11/Mint.
J. Ashley, M. Packard, B. Ataman, and V. Budnik (2005)
J. Neurosci. 25, 5943-5955
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