MAGUKs in synapse assembly and function: an emerging view

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2004 Apr;61(7-8):911-29. doi: 10.1007/s00018-003-3364-5.


Neuronal morphogenesis, synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity are fundamental aspects of nervous system development. Much of our current understanding of how each of these processes contributes to the establishment and maintenance of neural circuitry has come from a molecular description of specific classes of key molecules. With regard to synapse assembly and function, a family of membrane-associated guanylate kinase homologs (MAGUKs) have emerged as central organizers of multicomponent protein signaling complexes. In particular MAGUKs appear to play fundamental roles in the transport, anchoring and signaling of specific subclasses of synaptic receptors and ion channels. In this review, we will focus on the role that subfamilies of MAGUKs play during the formation, maintenance and plasticity of the vertebrate central nervous system glutamatergic synapse.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Guanylate Kinases
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Nucleoside-Phosphate Kinase / genetics
  • Nucleoside-Phosphate Kinase / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Receptors, Glutamate / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Ion Channels
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • TJP1 protein, human
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein
  • CASK kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Nucleoside-Phosphate Kinase
  • Guanylate Kinases
  • MAGI protein, Drosophila