Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 63, Issue 16, pp 1833–1849

The neuroligin and neurexin families: from structure to function at the synapse


DOI: 10.1007/s00018-006-6061-3

Cite this article as:
Lisé, MF. & El-Husseini, A. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2006) 63: 1833. doi:10.1007/s00018-006-6061-3


Proper brain connectivity and neuronal transmission rely on the accurate assembly of neurotransmitter receptors, cell adhesion molecules and several other scaffolding and signaling proteins at synapses. Several new exciting findings point to an important role for the neuroligin family of adhesion molecules in synapse development and function. In this review, we summarize current knowledge of the structure of neuroligins and neurexins, their potential binding partners at the synapse. We also discuss their potential involvement in several aspects of synapse development, including induction, specificity and stabilization. The implication of neuroligins in cognitive disorders such as autism and mental retardation is also discussed.


Synapse formationcell adhesion moleculeneuroliginneurexinscaffolding protein

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Brain Research CentreUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada