Chapter

Structure and molecular organization of the postsynaptic density

Natasha K. Hussain and Richard L. Huganir

in Dendrites

Third edition

Published in print March 2016 | ISBN: 9780198745273
Published online May 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191819735 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198745273.003.0006
Structure and molecular organization of the postsynaptic density

Show Summary Details

Preview

The morphology and molecular composition of synapses provide the basis of communication between neurons. Synapses are highly ordered, having developed structural and molecular specializations at their pre- and postsynaptic sites. At excitatory synapses, presynaptic sites of communication are faithfully juxtaposed to the postsynaptic density (PSD), an organized micro-compartment housed beneath the postsynaptic membrane. This largely invariant association suggests that the PSD is tightly coupled to synaptic function, allowing the pre-and postsynapse to form a cohesive unit. The PSD comprises several hundred proteins, including receptors, cytoskeletal, scaffolding, and signal transduction components. The organization of the PSD plays a central role in linking the molecular machinery responsible for neurotransmission to synaptic plasticity. This chapter details the structural organization of the PSD, with a particular emphasis on how its molecular constituents influence the structure and function of glutamatergic synapses.

Keywords: postsynaptic density; PSD; synaptic plasticity; scaffold protein; signal transduction; neurotransmission; glutamatergic synapse

Chapter.  17443 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.