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Sci. STKE, 21 August 2007
Vol. 2007, Issue 400, p. tw305
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.4002007tw305]


Neuroscience Understanding Selective Synapse Elimination

Stella M. Hurtley

Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK

Synapse elimination is a hallmark of neural circuit maturation during development. Many synapses are eliminated after an initial phase of synapse formation. However, little is known about the molecular machinery that executes synaptic elimination or why certain synapses are selectively eliminated while other synapses persist and grow. Ding et al. (see the Perspective by Miller) examined synapse elimination in the nematode worm and found that a ubiquitin E3 ligase complex plays a key role. The activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system was tightly regulated by a synaptic adhesion molecule, which protected certain synapses from selective elimination.

M. Ding, D. Chao, G. Wang, K. Shen, Spatial regulation of an E3 ubiquitin ligase directs selective synapse elimination. Science 317, 947-951 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]

D. M. Miller, Synapses here and not everywhere. Science 317, 907-908 (2007). [Summary] [Full Text]

Citation: S. M. Hurtley, Understanding Selective Synapse Elimination. Sci. STKE 2007, tw305 (2007).

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