PSD-95 Involvement in Maturation of Excitatory Synapses

Science  17 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5495, pp. 1364-1368
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5495.1364

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PSD-95 is a neuronal PDZ protein that associates with receptors and cytoskeletal elements at synapses, but whose function is uncertain. We found that overexpression of PSD-95 in hippocampal neurons can drive maturation of glutamatergic synapses. PSD-95 expression enhanced postsynaptic clustering and activity of glutamate receptors. Postsynaptic expression of PSD-95 also enhanced maturation of the presynaptic terminal. These effects required synaptic clustering of PSD-95 but did not rely on its guanylate kinase domain. PSD-95 expression also increased the number and size of dendritic spines. These results demonstrate that PSD-95 can orchestrate synaptic development and are suggestive of roles for PSD-95 in synapse stabilization and plasticity.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed: E-mail: bredt{at}

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