SAP97 concentrates at the postsynaptic density in cerebral cortex

Eur J Neurosci. 2000 Oct;12(10):3605-14. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9568.2000.00256.x.


SAP97, a PDZ-containing protein, is reported to concentrate in axon terminals, where its function remains unknown. Using highly specific new antibodies, we show that SAP97 in rat cerebral cortex is associated with heteromeric AMPA receptors via a selective biochemical interaction between SAP97 and the GluR1 subunit. Using light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry, we demonstrate cellular and synaptic colocalization of SAP97 and GluR1, and show that SAP97 concentrates at synapses that contain GluR1 but not necessarily GluR2 or GluR3. Using quantitative postembedding immunogold electron microscopy, we find that SAP97 is at highest concentration within the postsynaptic density of asymmetric synapses. These data suggest that SAP97 may help to anchor GluR1-containing AMPA receptors at the synapse. As a multifunctional scaffolding protein, SAP97 may organize components of AMPA-related intracellular signalling pathways, including those associated with calcium-permeable homomeric GluR1 channels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Cortex / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, AMPA / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Membranes / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Membranes / ultrastructure


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Dlg1 protein, rat
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • glutamate receptor ionotropic, AMPA 1