Both Sides Now

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Science  12 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5566, pp. 221
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5566.221c

Synaptogenesis requires coordinated assembly of both pre- and postsynaptic regions. Kaufmann et al. show that an intracellular protein called liprin interacts with the cytoplasmic domain of the leucocyte antigen-related (LAR) tyrosine phosphatase on the presynaptic side at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Both proteins are required for normal NMJ morphogenesis, because absence of either significantly altered both synapse size and bouton number. Consistent with the structural changes, evoked junctional potentials were reduced if either liprin or LAR was absent, although the underlying quantal machinery appeared intact because miniatures were unaltered. Wyszynski et al. report that liprin forms a complex with LAR and the glutamate receptor-interacting protein (GRIP) at the postsynaptic side in rat brain neurons. GRIP was also involved in clustering glutamate receptors of the AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid) type, hinting at a role for liprin in synaptic plasticity. Hence, liprin appears central to structures at both sides of developing synapses.—LDC

Neuron34, 27; 39 (2002).

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