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Sci. Signal., 15 January 2008
Vol. 1, Issue 2, p. pe3
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.12pe3]

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An Emerging Picture of Synapse Formation: A Balance of Two Opposing Pathways

Fumihito Ono*

Laboratory of Molecular Physiology, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Abstract: The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a well-studied chemical synapse and has served as a tractable model system to clarify how synapse formation occurs. Proteins on both the presynaptic and postsynaptic sides collaborate to induce the high-density accumulation of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) at the NMJ. Two opposing pathways work in this process: A dispersing pathway works through acetylcholine and the AChR, and a clustering pathway works through agrin and the transmembrane tyrosine kinase MuSK. The molecular mechanisms underlying these two signaling cascades are beginning to be understood.

*Corresponding author. E-mail, onof{at}mail.nih.gov

Citation: F. Ono, An Emerging Picture of Synapse Formation: A Balance of Two Opposing Pathways. Sci. Signal. 1, pe3 (2008).

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