GSBS Student Publications


Cadherins and synaptic plasticity

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Howard Hughes Medical Institute



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Cadherins; Calcium; Neuronal Plasticity; Protein Structure, Tertiary; Receptors, AMPA; Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate; Signal Transduction; Synapses


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Given their trans-synaptic localization, their persistent expression at mature synapses and their distinct biochemical and adhesive properties, cadherins are uniquely poised at the synapse to mediate synaptic plasticity, the ability to change synaptic function thought to underlie learning and memory. For example recent work suggests that cadherins may recruit and stabilize AMPA receptors at the synapse via direct interactions or through complex formation, revealing cross talk between postsynaptic signaling and adhesion. Moreover, the use of small interfering RNA knockdown of cadherin, the availability of N-cadherin-deficient embryonic stem cells and the acute disruption of cadherin function with peptide application in vivo have allowed for more precise dissection of the molecular mechanisms by which cadherins function in both structural and functional plasticity.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2008 Oct;20(5):567-75. Epub 2008 Jul 19. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal Title

Current opinion in cell biology

PubMed ID