Soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins mediate membrane fusion events in eukaryotic cells. Traditionally recognized as major players in regulating presynaptic neurotransmitter release, accumulative evidence over recent years has identified several SNARE proteins implicated in important postsynaptic processes such as neurotransmitter receptor trafficking and synaptic plasticity. Here we analyze the emerging data revealing this novel functional dimension for SNAREs with a focus on the molecular specialization of vesicular recycling and fusion in dendrites compared to those at axon terminals and its impact in synaptic transmission and plasticity.
Keywords: neurotransmitter receptor trafficking; postsynaptic SNARE proteins; postsynaptic exocytosis; synaptic plasticity.
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