Postsynaptic scaffold proteins in health and disease

Published on April 2, 2014   48 min
0:00
Hello, my name is Jonathan Hanley. I'm a senior lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Bristol, and my research focuses on neuronal cell biology, in particular molecular mechanisms that underlie changes in synaptic strength, otherwise known as synaptic plasticity, which are thought to underlie learning and memory and are also proposed to be involved in a number of neurological diseases. In this presentation, I will try to give an overview of a number of proteins whose major role is to organize synapses, or the so-called scaffold proteins. As the name suggests, a scaffold protein provide structure to the synapse and also acts as a platform to bring numerous specific protein components close together to enhance signaling, trafficking, or other cell biological events that are crucial for the function of the synapse.
0:49
I will start off by introducing some basic concepts about synapses, their plasticity, their molecular organization. Since the title of this presentation covers a very broad topic, I will not be able to discuss all aspects in great detail, so I will focus on excitatory synapses, and beyond that I will focus mainly on three multi-domain scaffold proteins called GRIP, PSD-95, and SHANK. I will describe their normal synaptic function, and finally, discuss their role in some important neurological diseases, Alzheimer's, autism spectrum disorders, or ASD, schizophrenia. and brain ischemia.
1:28
The brain is the center of the nervous system and almost certainly the most complex structure in biology. All aspects of cognition originate in the brain. Thoughts, emotions, memories, ideas, and dreams. The brain also provides us with the ability to see, hear, taste, smell, touch, and move. It allows us to form words, understand mathematics, communicate with others, make decisions, compose, and appreciate art.
1:59
The human brain consists of more than 100 billion neurons, which process and transmits information in the form of electrical signals. Communication between neurons occurs at specialized junctions called synapses. All of the normal faculties I mentioned in the last slide are the product of circuits made up of multiple synaptic connections that can be formed, strengthened, weakened, or eliminated.
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Postsynaptic scaffold proteins in health and disease

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