They found that removal of the SynCAM 1 molecule from the brain increased plasticity in the visual cortex of both young and adult mice.
Mature function is then 'cemented' into place by molecules like SynCAM 1.
"Therefore, the limited ability of the mature brain to change is not simply a consequence of age but is directly enforced by the SynCAM 1 mechanism.
"We've had some evidence that a set of molecules called SynCAMs may be involved in this process, so we decided to dig deeper into those specific molecules."
CAMs such as PSA-NCAM and SYNCAM, as well as several neurexins and neuroligins, differentially affect synaptic functions demonstrated by alterations in NMDA and AMPA receptor-mediated currents, as well as the expression of synaptic protein-mediated aspects of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission.
Mozhayeva et al., "SynCAM, a synaptic adhesion molecule that drives synapse assembly," Science, vol.
Kaup et al., "Synaptic cell adhesion molecule SynCAM 1 is a target for polysialylation in postnatal mouse brain," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol.
(C) Glutamate receptors (AMPA receptor, NMDA receptor, and mGluR), postsynaptic scaffolding molecules (PSD-95, guanylate kinase-associated protein (GKAP), Shank, and homer), and postsynaptic adhesion molecules (neuroligin, leucine-rich repeat transmembrane protein (LRRTM), synaptic adhesion-like molecule (SALM), and synCAM
) and their organization in PSD.
Perez de Arce et al., "SynCAM 1 adhesion dynamically regulates synapse number and impacts plasticity and learning," Neuron, vol.
Synaptic adhesion molecules (SynCAMs) are molecules that actively participate in synapse formation and plasticity [89, 90] and axonal pathfinding .
ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; ASD, autism spectrum disorder; AZ, active zone; BPD, bipolar disorder; MDD, major depressive disorder; NRXN, neurexin; RIM, Rab3a interacting molecule; SCZ, schizophrenia; SynCAMs, Synaptic adhesion molecules; SV, synaptic vesicle.