Regulation of Synapse-specific Genes

  • J. P. Merlie
  • J. R. Sanes
Conference paper
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


In its distinctive form and specialized function the postsynaptic apparatus of the neuromuscular junction has many of the characteristics of an organelle; a tissue-specific one to be sure. Like other organelles, the junctional apparatus is formed and maintained by genetically programmed mechanisms which are modulated by environmental cues. For example, embryonic myotubes and denervated adult fibers assemble synaptic specializations under the influence of nerve terminals, and once innervated, a muscle will not easily form additional synapses. Thus, regulatory signals must pass between nerve and muscle to insure the formation and proper maintenance of the synapse. Recognition of the similarities between the synapse and other organelles has prompted us to consider the possibility that the genetic expression of components of the synapse is regulated by a common and synapse specific mechanism.


Acetylcholine Receptor Neuromuscular Junction Actin mRNA Onic Muscle AChR Subunit 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Merlie
  • J. R. Sanes
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Pharmacology and of Anatomy and NeurobiologyWashington University, School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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