Organelles and trafficking machinery for postsynaptic plasticity

Annu Rev Neurosci. 2006;29:325-62. doi: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.29.051605.112808.


Neurons are among the largest and most complex cells in the body. Their immense size and intricate geometry pose many unique cell-biological problems. How is dendritic architecture established and maintained? How do neurons traffic newly synthesized integral membrane proteins over such long distances to synapses? Functionally, protein trafficking to and from the postsynaptic membrane has emerged as a key mechanism underlying various forms of synaptic plasticity. Which organelles are involved in postsynaptic trafficking, and how do they integrate and respond to activity at individual synapses? Here we review what is currently known about long-range trafficking of newly synthesized postsynaptic proteins as well as the local rules that govern postsynaptic trafficking at individual synapses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / ultrastructure
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Endocytosis / physiology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology
  • Exocytosis
  • Models, Biological
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Organelles / metabolism*
  • Organelles / ultrastructure
  • Protein Transport
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure