SynCAM in Formation and Function of Synaptic Specializations

  • Thomas Biederer

1. Summary

SynCAM 1 (Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecule 1), a member of the immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily of proteins, is an intercellular adhesion molecule at synapses in the central nervous system (CNS). It mediates interactions that bridge the synaptic cleft between pre- and postsynaptic membranes. SynCAM 1 has an active role in synaptic differentiation and induces formation of new presynaptic terminals. In keeping with this activity, SynCAM 1 is expressed throughout the developing brain, indicating a general role in synaptogenesis. SynCAM 1 is a member of a family of four genes found solely in vertebrates. The domain structure of all SynCAM family members is well defined. Three Ig-like domains constitute their extracellular sequence, followed by a single transmembrane region and a short cytosolic tail. Their intracellular sequences display an interaction motif for PDZ domain-containing adaptor molecules and for components of the actin cytoskeleton. These cytosolic protein interaction motifs are highly conserved among all four SynCAM proteins, underscoring their important role in mediating membrane differentiation.


Synaptic Vesicle Synaptic Vesicle Recycling Presynaptic Specialization Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecule Intracellular Sequence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Biederer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biophysics and BiochemistryYale University Medical SchoolNew HavenUSA

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