Research ArticleNeuroscience

Neurotransmitters Drive Combinatorial Multistate Postsynaptic Density Networks

Science Signaling  28 Apr 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 68, pp. ra19
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2000102

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Patterning Postsynaptic Phosphorylation

The postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses in the mammalian brain—the initial site for integration of incoming information from the presynaptic neuron—contains over a thousand different proteins. Rather than investigating the effects of neurotransmitter signaling on a single pathway, Coba et al. explored the functional organization of these postsynaptic density proteins. Using a large-scale proteomic approach, they found that stimulation of different classes of neurotransmitter receptor affected the phosphorylation status of hundreds of phosphorylation sites in overlapping networks of postsynaptic density proteins. Identification of a set of regulatory phosphorylation motifs enabled them to construct a model of the molecular circuitry of the postsynaptic proteome, a crucial step in elucidating how postsynaptic neurons process incoming information.

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