The biochemical anatomy of cortical inhibitory synapses

Elizabeth A. Heller, Wenzhu Zhang, Fekrije Selimi, John C. Earnheart, Marta A. Ślimak, Julio Santos-Torres, Ines Ibañez-Tallon, Chiye Aoki, Brian T. Chait, Nathaniel Heintz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Classical electron microscopic studies of the mammalian brain revealed two major classes of synapses, distinguished by the presence of a large postsynaptic density (PSD) exclusively at type 1, excitatory synapses. Biochemical studies of the PSD have established the paradigm of the synapse as a complex signal-processing machine that controls synaptic plasticity. We report here the results of a proteomic analysis of type 2, inhibitory synaptic complexes isolated by affinity purification from the cerebral cortex. We show that these synaptic complexes contain a variety of neurotransmitter receptors, neural cell-scaffolding and adhesion molecules, but that they are entirely lacking in cell signaling proteins. This fundamental distinction between the functions of type 1 and type 2 synapses in the nervous system has far reaching implications for models of synaptic plasticity, rapid adaptations in neural circuits, and homeostatic mechanisms controlling the balance of excitation and inhibition in the mature brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere39572
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 29 2012

Fingerprint

synapse
Synapses
Plasticity
Brain
Anatomy
Cell signaling
Post-Synaptic Density
Neurotransmitter Receptor
Neuronal Plasticity
Neurology
Purification
Signal processing
Adhesion
brain
Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules
Molecules
Electrons
Networks (circuits)
cerebral cortex
nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Heller, E. A., Zhang, W., Selimi, F., Earnheart, J. C., Ślimak, M. A., Santos-Torres, J., ... Heintz, N. (2012). The biochemical anatomy of cortical inhibitory synapses. PLoS One, 7(6), [e39572]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039572

The biochemical anatomy of cortical inhibitory synapses. / Heller, Elizabeth A.; Zhang, Wenzhu; Selimi, Fekrije; Earnheart, John C.; Ślimak, Marta A.; Santos-Torres, Julio; Ibañez-Tallon, Ines; Aoki, Chiye; Chait, Brian T.; Heintz, Nathaniel.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 7, No. 6, e39572, 29.06.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Heller, EA, Zhang, W, Selimi, F, Earnheart, JC, Ślimak, MA, Santos-Torres, J, Ibañez-Tallon, I, Aoki, C, Chait, BT & Heintz, N 2012, 'The biochemical anatomy of cortical inhibitory synapses', PLoS One, vol. 7, no. 6, e39572. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039572
Heller EA, Zhang W, Selimi F, Earnheart JC, Ślimak MA, Santos-Torres J et al. The biochemical anatomy of cortical inhibitory synapses. PLoS One. 2012 Jun 29;7(6). e39572. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039572
Heller, Elizabeth A. ; Zhang, Wenzhu ; Selimi, Fekrije ; Earnheart, John C. ; Ślimak, Marta A. ; Santos-Torres, Julio ; Ibañez-Tallon, Ines ; Aoki, Chiye ; Chait, Brian T. ; Heintz, Nathaniel. / The biochemical anatomy of cortical inhibitory synapses. In: PLoS One. 2012 ; Vol. 7, No. 6.
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