L1-Type Cell Adhesion Molecules: Distinct Roles in Synaptic Targeting, Organization, and Function

  • Smitha Babu Uthaman
  • Tanja Angela GodenschwegeEmail author


L1-type cell adhesion molecules are known to be involved in several early developmental processes such as neurite outgrowth, axon guidance, fasciculation, and cell migration. In this chapter, we review their less well-studied roles in synaptogenesis. Despite the limited number of studies that has been conducted to assay the cellular mechanisms involving L1-type CAMs at the synapse, the breadth and scope of their synaptic functions described so far are astonishing. The functions for the various L1-type members range from synaptic targeting and synapse formation to synaptic transmission in GABAergic (gamma-aminobutyric acid), glutamatergic, and cholinergic synapses in the CNS or the NMJ. Some of these functions are conserved and shared between all L1-type family members while others are distinct to a particular member. Exciting discoveries will continue to be made in elucidating the roles L1-type cell adhesion molecules play at the synapse.


L1-syndrome Cytoskeleton Ankyrin Immunoglobulin Synapse formation L1-CAM 



Tanja. A. Godenschwege is supported by RO1 HD050725-01A1, and Smitha B. Uthaman was supported by RO1 NS044609. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development or the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Smitha Babu Uthaman
    • 1
  • Tanja Angela Godenschwege
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA

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