The effects of detergents on the composition of postsynaptic densities

J Neurochem. 1984 Jul;43(1):184-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1984.tb06695.x.


A method of purifying postsynaptic densities (PSD) of Cohen et al. (1977) has been modified, primarily by the substitution of octyl glucoside as the detergent used to solubilize synaptosomal fractions. Subsequent extraction with other detergents resulted in the selective removal of specific polypeptides. In particular sulphobetaine 3-14 removed most of the beta-tubulin but not alpha-tubulin. Sodium N-lauroyl sarcosinate completely destroyed the structural integrity of the PSD when the in vitro formation of intermolecular disulphide bonds was minimized. These results suggest that the structure of PSDs is more labile than previously thought and demonstrate a technique for further examining their composition.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Betaine / analogs & derivatives
  • Betaine / pharmacology
  • Cell Fractionation
  • Detergents / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Glucosides / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Sarcosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Sarcosine / pharmacology
  • Solubility
  • Surface-Active Agents / pharmacology*
  • Synaptic Membranes / drug effects
  • Synaptic Membranes / ultrastructure*


  • Detergents
  • Glucosides
  • Peptides
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • octyl-beta-D-glucoside
  • Betaine
  • sarkosyl
  • Sarcosine