Formation of synaptic connections requires alignment of neurotransmitter receptors on postsynaptic dendrites opposite matching transmitter release sites on presynaptic axons. beta-neurexins and neuroligins form a trans-synaptic link at glutamate synapses. We show here that neurexin alone is sufficient to induce glutamate postsynaptic differentiation in contacting dendrites. Surprisingly, neurexin also induces GABA postsynaptic differentiation. Conversely, neuroligins induce presynaptic differentiation in both glutamate and GABA axons. Whereas neuroligins-1, -3, and -4 localize to glutamate postsynaptic sites, neuroligin-2 localizes primarily to GABA synapses. Direct aggregation of neuroligins reveals a linkage of neuroligin-2 to GABA and glutamate postsynaptic proteins, but the other neuroligins only to glutamate postsynaptic proteins. Furthermore, mislocalized expression of neuroligin-2 disperses postsynaptic proteins and disrupts synaptic transmission. Our findings indicate that the neurexin-neuroligin link is a core component mediating both GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptogenesis, and differences in isoform localization and binding affinities may contribute to appropriate differentiation and specificity.