Clustering of inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors at developing postsynaptic sites: the membrane activation model

Trends Neurosci. 2000 Sep;23(9):429-35. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(00)01627-1.


Recent studies indicate an important role of cytoskeleton-associated and lipid-anchored proteins in the formation of inhibitory postsynaptic membrane specializations. Membrane apposition of the tubulin-binding protein gephyrin is essential for the recruitment of inhibitory glycine receptors and GABAA receptors to developing postsynaptic sites. Newly disclosed interactions between gephyrin, exchange factors for G proteins of the Rho and Rac families, the translational regulator RAFT1, and actin-binding proteins like profilin might integrate activity-dependent and trophic-factor-mediated signals at developing postsynaptic sites. A model of inhibitory neurotransmitter receptor clustering, is proposed, in which this process is initiated by receptor-driven activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Synapses / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter