J. Membrane Biol. 171, 97–105 (1999) The Journal of Membrane Biology © Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1999 Topical Review P. Koulen Department of Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520-8066, USA Received: 14 May 1999 Introduction tions opposite to each other. To achieve signaling speci- ficity, distinct sets of these molecules are clustered to the correct cellular region and are put in register with each In the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) fast other. For example, presynaptic neurotransmitter ac- transmission of information between neurons is depen- companied by the necessary exocytotic machinery and dent upon characteristic properties of specialized cell corresponding postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors contacts, the synapses. Synaptic contacts show a high have to be specifically targeted to distinct types of syn- degree of morphological specialization which is charac- apses (Craig et al., 1994; Wallace, 1996; Sheng & terized by a concentration of several types of intracellu- Wyszynski, 1997; Kennedy, 1998). To increase the lar, transmembrane and extracellular molecules at the speed and reliability of signal transmission, these synap- contact site (Craig et al., 1994; Ehlers et al., 1996; Gom- tic molecules are not only found in the synapses, but they perts, 1996;
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 15, 1999
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