Deconstruction for reconstruction: the role of proteolysis in neural plasticity and disease

Neuron. 2011 Jan 13;69(1):22-32. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.11.006.


The brain changes in response to experience and altered environment. This neural plasticity is largely mediated by morphological and functional modification of synapses, a process that depends on both synthesis and degradation of proteins. It is now clear that regulated proteolysis plays a critical role in the remodeling of synapses, learning and memory, and neurodevelopment. Here, we highlight the mechanisms and functions of proteolysis in synaptic plasticity and discuss its alteration in disease states.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligase Complexes / metabolism


  • Proteins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligase Complexes
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex