Compartmentalized NRG signaling and PDZ domain-containing proteins in synapse structure and function

Yang Z. Huang, Qiang Wang, Sandra Won, Zhen G. Luo, Wen C. Xiong, Lin Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The synapse-specific synthesis of the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) is mediated by multiple mechanisms including compartmentalized signaling induced by neuregulin (NRG). This paper presents evidence that NRG receptors - ErbB receptor tyrosine kinases interact with distinct PDZ domain-containing proteins that are localized at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). ErbB4 associates with the PSD-95 (also known as SAP90)-family members including PSD-95, SAP97, and SAP102 whereas ErbB2 interacts with Erbin and PICK1. Although, ErbB kinases are concentrated at the NMJ, they are not colocalized with the AChR in cultured muscle cells even in the presence of agrin. Co-expression of PSD-95 causes ErbB4 to form clusters in COS cells. We propose that PDZ domain-containing proteins play a role in anchoring ErbB proteins at the neuromuscular junction, and/or mediating downstream signaling pathways. Such mechanisms could be important for the maintenance and function of the synapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-185
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Issue number3-5
StatePublished - 2002


  • Acetylcholine receptor
  • Neuregulin
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Synapse
  • Synaptogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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