Role of the MAGUK protein family in synapse formation and function

Dev Neurobiol. 2012 Jan;72(1):57-72. doi: 10.1002/dneu.20949.


Synaptic function is crucially dependent on the spatial organization of the presynaptic and postsynaptic apparatuses and the juxtaposition of both membrane compartments. This precise arrangement is achieved by a protein network at the submembrane region of each cell that is built around scaffold proteins. The membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) family of proteins is a widely expressed and well-conserved group of proteins that plays an essential role in the formation and regulation of this scaffolding. Here, we review general features of this protein family, focusing on the discs large and calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase subfamilies of MAGUKs in the formation, function, and plasticity of synapses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Guanylate Kinases / classification
  • Guanylate Kinases / metabolism*
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics
  • Intellectual Disability / metabolism
  • Learning / physiology
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / physiology
  • Synapses / metabolism*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Guanylate Kinases