Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Collaborative Research Center for Theoretical Biology

Glutamate receptor trafficking in the integration of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity

The synaptic trafficking of structurally and functionally diversified non-NMDA-type glutamate receptors (GluRs) at postsynaptic densities (PSDs) controls synapse formation and plasticity underlying learning and memory. We could quantify GluR traffic by in vivo imaging at neuromuscular synapses of Drosophila. Subunit-specific GluR traffic matched pre- to postsynaptic assembly at single synapses, and, on a cell-wide level, adapted synapse numbers to activity levels over time. The ultimate goal of the project is a spatio-temporal model of GluR dynamics in the process of formation, stabilization and adaptation of PSDs. Thereby Drosophila genetics will help to explore the role of structural and functional determinants as glutamate binding, desensitization behaviour and posttranslational modification.

german version