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.
- Understanding Selective Synapse Elimination
In developing worms, the pruning of excess synapses requires proteasome-mediated protein degradation and is selectively prevented by a neural adhesion molecule.Permalink: