Constructing inhibitory synapses

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2001 Apr;2(4):240-50. doi: 10.1038/35067500.


Control of nerve-cell excitability is crucial for normal brain function. Two main groups of inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors--GABA(A) and glycine receptors--fulfil a significant part of this role. To mediate fast synaptic inhibition effectively, these receptors need to be localized and affixed opposite nerve terminals that release the appropriate neurotransmitter at multiple sites on postsynaptic neurons. But for this to occur, neurons require intracellular anchoring molecules, as well as mechanisms that ensure the efficient turnover and transport of mature, functional inhibitory synaptic receptor proteins. This review describes the dynamic regulation of synaptic GABA(A) and glycine receptors and discusses recent advances in this rapidly evolving field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ion Channel Gating
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Transport
  • Receptors, GABA-A / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Glycine / metabolism*
  • Synapses / chemistry
  • Synapses / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Receptors, Glycine
  • gephyrin