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Research on Virology and Cytopathology
Research on Virology and Cytopathology
iConcept Press

Chapter 2

Research on Virology and Cytopathology

The Physiology and Pathology of Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecules

by Chen Zhang and Xiaofei Yang

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Chemical synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions through which neurons send nerve impulses to communicate with other neurons or excitable cells. The appropriate formation of synapses, both spatially and temporally, is essential for brain function and depends on the intercellular protein-protein interactions of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) at synaptic clefts. The CAM proteins link pre- and postsynaptic sites, and play essential roles in promoting synapse formation and maturation, maintaining synapse number and type, accumulating neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels, controlling neuronal differentiation and even regulating synaptic plasticity directly. Alteration of the interactions of CAMs leads to structural and functional impairments, which results in many neurological disorders, such as autism, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and schizophrenia. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the functions of CAMs during development and in the mature neural system, as well as in the pathogenesis of some neurological disorders. Here, we review the function of the major classes of CAMs, and how dysfunction of CAMs relates to several neurological disorders.

Author Details

Chen Zhang
State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Peking University, Beijing, China
Xiaofei Yang
Key Laboratory of Cognitive Science, Hubei Key Laboratory of Medical Information Analysis and Tumor Diagnosis & Treatment, Laboratory of Membrane Ion Channels and Medicine, College of Biomedical Engineering, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan, China


Chen Zhang and Xiaofei Yang. The Physiology and Pathology of Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecules. In Research on Virology and Cytopathology. ISBN:978-1-922227-70-6. iConcept Press. 2016.