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Science 307 (5713): 1207-1208

Copyright © 2005 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Making Synapses: A Balancing Act

Natasha K. Hussain and Morgan Sheng

How do excitatory and inhibitory synapses form between billions of neurons in the brain during development. As Hussain and Sheng discuss in their Perspective, one clue comes from recent work published here (Chih et al.) and elsewhere. Apparently, interactions between proteins called neuroligins and the protein beta-neurexin help to bring presynaptic and postsynaptic membranes together in the correct alignment, thus enabling formation of synapses.

The authors are at the Picower Center for Learning and Memory, RIKEN-MIT Neuroscience Research Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. E-mail: natashah{at}, msheng{at}

Neuroligin-2 Deletion Selectively Decreases Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission Originating from Fast-Spiking but Not from Somatostatin-Positive Interneurons.
J. R. Gibson, K. M. Huber, and T. C. Sudhof (2009)
J. Neurosci. 29, 13883-13897
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Proteomic Analysis of Brain Plasma Membranes Isolated by Affinity Two-phase Partitioning.
J. Schindler, U. Lewandrowski, A. Sickmann, E. Friauf, and H. Gerd Nothwang (2006)
Mol. Cell. Proteomics 5, 390-400
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

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