Dynamics of postsynaptic glutamate receptor targeting

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2007 Feb;17(1):53-8. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2006.11.001. Epub 2006 Dec 11.


Targeting of glutamate receptors to synapses is an important event in both developing and mature neurons. Glutamate receptors are delivered to nascent synapses during synaptogenesis and to existing synapses during activity-dependent synaptic strengthening. Increasing evidence suggests that glutamate receptors are inserted into the plasma membrane before they accumulate at the synapse. Lateral diffusion of receptors occurs at both synaptic and non-synaptic membranes, and glutamate receptors can exchange rapidly between synaptic and extrasynaptic sites. In addition, recent studies show that postsynaptic scaffold molecules can be highly mobile. The dynamic nature of the synapse suggests that many mechanisms might be involved in regulating synapse formation and synaptic plasticity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Dendrites / metabolism*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Receptors, Glutamate / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Membranes / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Membranes / ultrastructure
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*


  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Glutamic Acid