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Inhibitory Synapse Formation at the Axon Initial Segment

Nathanson, AJ; Davies, PA; Moss, SJ; (2019) Inhibitory Synapse Formation at the Axon Initial Segment. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience , 12 , Article 266. 10.3389/fnmol.2019.00266. Green open access

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Abstract

The axon initial segment (AIS) is the site of action potential (AP) initiation in most neurons and is thus a critical site in the regulation of neuronal excitability. Normal function within the discrete AIS compartment requires intricate molecular machinery to ensure the proper concentration and organization of voltage-gated and ligand-gated ion channels; in humans, dysfunction at the AIS due to channel mutations is commonly associated with epileptic disorders. In this review, we will examine the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of the only synapses found at the AIS: synapses containing γ-aminobutyric type A receptors (GABAARs). GABAARs are heteropentamers assembled from 19 possible subunits and are the primary mediators of fast synaptic inhibition in the brain. Although the total GABAAR population is incredibly heterogeneous, only one specific GABAAR subtype—the α2-containing receptor—is enriched at the AIS. These AIS synapses are innervated by GABAergic chandelier cells, and this inhibitory signaling is thought to contribute to the tight control of AP firing. Here, we will summarize the progress made in understanding the regulation of GABAAR synapse formation, concentrating on post-translational modifications of subunits and on interactions with intracellular proteins. We will then discuss subtype-specific synapse formation, with a focus on synapses found at the AIS, and how these synapses influence neuronal excitation.

Type: Article
Title: Inhibitory Synapse Formation at the Axon Initial Segment
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fnmol.2019.00266
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2019.00266
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2019 Nathanson, Davies and Moss. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: GABAA receptor, axon initial segment, collybistin, gephyrin, inhibition, synapse formation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091610
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