Activity-dependent modification of excitatory synaptic transmission is a fundamental mechanism for developmental plasticity of the neural circuits and experience-dependent plasticity. Synaptic glutamatergic receptors including AMPA receptors and NMDA receptors (AMPARs and NMDARs) are embedded in the postsynaptic density, a highly organized protein network. Overwhelming data have shown that PSD-95-like membrane associated guanylate kinases (PSD-MAGUKs), a major family of scaffold proteins at glutamatergic synapses, regulate basal synaptic AMPAR function and trafficking. It is now clear that PSD-MAGUKs have multifaceted functions in regulating both basal synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Here we discuss recent advancements in understanding the roles of PSD-95 and other family members of PSD-MAGUKs in synaptic plasticity, both as an anchoring protein for synaptic AMPARs and as a signaling scaffold for mediating the interaction of the signaling complex and NMDARs.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.