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Greg Stuart, Nelson Spruston, and Michael Häusser

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198745273

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198745273.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 January 2021

Structure and molecular organization of the postsynaptic density

Structure and molecular organization of the postsynaptic density

(p.159) Chapter 6 Structure and molecular organization of the postsynaptic density

Natasha K. Hussain

Richard L. Huganir

Oxford University Press

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

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