Molecular Organization and Assembly of the Postsynaptic Density of Excitatory Brain Synapses

  • Eunjoon KimEmail author
  • Jaewon Ko
Part of the Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation book series (RESULTS, volume 43)


The postsynaptic density (PSD) is a postsynaptic membrane specialization at excitatory synapses. The PSD is made of macromolecular multiprotein complexes, which contain a variety of synaptic proteins including membrane, scaffolding, and signaling proteins. By coaggregating with postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules, PSD proteins promote the formation and maturation of excitatory synapses. PSD proteins organize signaling pathways to coordinate structural and functional changes in synapses, and they regulate trafficking and recycling of glutamate receptors, which determines synaptic strength and plasticity. Synaptic activity dynamically regulates the assembly of the PSD through mechanisms including protein phosphorylation, palmitoylation, and protein degradation. PSD proteins associate with diverse motor proteins, suggesting that they function as adaptors linking motors to their specific cargoes.


AMPA Receptor Dendritic Spine Postsynaptic Density Excitatory Synapse EphB Receptor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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We acknowledge the support of the National Creative Research Initiative Program of the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Creative Research Initiative Center for Synaptogenesis and Department of Biological SciencesKorea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)DaejeonKorea

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