Neural Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-Anchored Proteins in Synaptic Specification
Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins are a specialized class of lipid-associated neuronal membrane proteins that perform diverse functions in the dynamic control of axon guidance, synaptic adhesion, cytoskeletal remodeling, and localized signal transduction, particularly at lipid raft domains. Recent studies have demonstrated that a subset of GPI-anchored proteins act as critical regulators of synapse development by modulating specific synaptic adhesion pathways via direct interactions with key synapse-organizing proteins. Additional studies have revealed that alteration of these regulatory mechanisms may underlie various brain disorders. In this review, we highlight the emerging role of GPI-anchored proteins as key synapse organizers that aid in shaping the properties of various types of synapses and circuits in mammals.
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