Localization and stabilization of ionotropic glutamate receptors at synapses

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2000 Oct;57(11):1517-25. doi: 10.1007/pl00000636.


Appropriate targeting and clustering of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) is critical for the formation and maintenance of excitatory synapses. Recent studies have demonstrated that the synaptic localization of iGluR subtypes is remarkably heterogeneous and subject to regulation over time scales ranging from minutes to months. These findings, together with the identification of key protein binding partners of iGluRs, have opened a window onto the complex cell biology of iGluR membrane trafficking. In this article, we review recent findings on the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in localizing iGluRs at synapses and discuss their implications for synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • N-Ethylmaleimide-Sensitive Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Protein Transport
  • Receptors, AMPA / metabolism
  • Receptors, Glutamate / chemistry
  • Receptors, Glutamate / classification
  • Receptors, Glutamate / metabolism*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism
  • Synapses / chemistry
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • N-Ethylmaleimide-Sensitive Proteins