The data presented here are clearly just the beginning of any comprehensive understanding of the set of regulatory and cytoskeletal proteins that interact with membrane receptors in the postsynaptic density. They do, however, indicate that both glutamate channels at central excitatory synapses are involved in complex protein-protein interactions. For example, while NR2A is important for Ca-dependent in activation of NMDA receptors, studies in several systems suggest that the other major NR2 subunit in hippocampal neurons, NR2B, predominates at critical times during synapse formation. In addition, the COOH terminus of NR2B binds to several novel cytoskeletal proteins. These results provide circumstantial evidence that NR2B may play specific roles in function and localization of receptors at excitatory synapses. The possible role of NR2B in early synaptic function gains additional support from functional data suggesting that NMDA receptors have specific roles during development (Komuro and Rakic, 1993; Rabacchi et al., 1992: Yen et al., 1993). The essential role of NR1 and NR2B in development is graphically demonstrated by the neonatal death of transgenic mice lacking either of these two subunits (Forrest et al., 1994: Kutsuwada et al., 1996) whereas NR2A and NR2C-deficient mice are less severely affected (Sakimura et al., 1995: Ebralidze et al., 1996).
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of General Physiology|
|Issue number||50TH ANN. SYMP.|
|State||Published - Jul 16 1997|
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