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An Emerging Picture of Synapse Formation: A Balance of Two Opposing Pathways

The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a well-studied chemical synapse and has served as a tractable model system to clarify how synapse formation occurs. Proteins on both the presynaptic and postsynaptic sides collaborate to induce the high-density accumulation of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) at the NMJ. Two opposing pathways work in this process: A dispersing pathway works through acetylcholine and the AChR, and a clustering pathway works through agrin and the transmembrane tyrosine kinase MuSK. The molecular mechanisms underlying these two signaling cascades are beginning to be understood.

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Resource Type: Bibliography, Diagram, Illustration, Journal article/Issue, Review, Table
Audience Level: Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program)

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Fumihito Ono of Laboratory of Molecular Physiology, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Format: application/pdf, image/gif, image/jpeg, text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: Yes


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