Organizing the synaptic junctions

J Biol Chem. 2023 May;299(5):104716. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2023.104716. Epub 2023 Apr 13.


Synaptic adhesion molecules (SAMs) are essential for driving the formation, maturation, and plasticity of synaptic connections for neural networks. MAM domain-containing glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchors (MDGAs) are a type of SAM that regulates the formation of trans-synaptic bridges, which are critical for neurotransmission and synaptic differentiation. In a recent issue of the JBC, Lee et al. uncovered that MDGA1 can control protein-protein interactions and synaptic cleft activity by adopting different global 3D conformations. This novel molecular mechanism may be applicable to other SAMs that regulate protein-protein interactions and nanoscale organization in the synaptic cleft.

Keywords: MDGA1; global 3D conformation; neurexin; neuroligin; synaptic adhesion molecule; synaptic cleft; trans-synaptic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal*
  • Cell Communication
  • Synapses* / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal