Formation and stability of synaptic receptor domains

Year: 2011

Authors: Haselwandter CA., Calamai M., Kardar M., Triller A., da Silveira RA.

Autors Affiliation: Department of Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA;
Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA;
IBENS, Institute of Biology at Ecole Normale Supe´rieure, Inserm U1024, CNRS UMR5197, 46 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris, France;
Department of Physics and Department of Cognitive Studies, Ecole Normale Supe´rieure, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France;
Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Universite´ Pierre et Marie Curie,
Universite´ Denis Diderot, France

Abstract: Neurotransmitter receptor molecules, concentrated in postsynaptic domains along with scaffold and a number of other molecules, are key regulators of signal transmission across synapses. Combining experiment and theory, we develop a quantitative description of synaptic receptor domains in terms of a reaction-diffusion model. We show that interactions between only receptors and scaffolds, together with the rapid diffusion of receptors on the cell membrane, are sufficient for the formation and stable characteristic size of synaptic receptor domains. Our work reconciles long-term stability of synaptic receptor domains with rapid turnover and diffusion of individual receptors, and suggests novel mechanisms for a form of short-term, postsynaptic plasticity.


Volume: 106 (23)      Pages from: 238104  to: 238104

More Information: R. A. d. S. is grateful to Philippe Ascher and Jean-Pierre Changeux for illuminating discussions. This work was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (C. A. H.), the Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Foundation and a FEBS grant (M. C.), the NSF through Grant No. DMR-08-03315 and the Ecole Normale Superieure (M. K.), the Inserm UR 789 (A. T.), and the CNRS through UMR 8550 (R. A. d. S.).
KeyWords: Cytology; Molecules; Scaffolds (biology), Key regulators; Long term stability; Quantitative description; Rapid diffusion; Reaction-diffusion models; Signal transmission; Stable characteristics; Synaptic receptors, Diffusion
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.238104

Citations: 30
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