An Architectural Framework That May Lie at the Core of the Postsynaptic Density

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Science  27 Jan 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5760, pp. 531-535
DOI: 10.1126/science.1118995

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The postsynaptic density (PSD) is a complex assembly of proteins associated with the postsynaptic membrane that organizes neurotransmitter receptors, signaling pathways, and regulatory elements within a cytoskeletal matrix. Here we show that the sterile alpha motif domain of rat Shank3/ProSAP2, a master scaffolding protein located deep within the PSD, can form large sheets composed of helical fibers stacked side by side. Zn2+, which is found in high concentrations in the PSD, binds tightly to Shank3 and may regulate assembly. Sheets of the Shank protein could form a platform for the construction of the PSD complex.

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