Coordination of Protein Phosphorylation and Dephosphorylation in Synaptic Plasticity [Signal Transduction]

October 9th, 2015 by Woolfrey, K. M., Dell'Acqua, M. L.

A central theme in nervous system function is equilibrium: synaptic strengths wax and wane, neuronal firing rates adjust up and down, and neural circuits balance excitation with inhibition. This push/pull regulatory theme carries through to the molecular level at excitatory synapses, where protein function is controlled through phosphorylation and dephoshorylation by kinases and phosphatases. However, these opposing enzymatic activities are only part of the equation, as scaffolding interactions and assembly of multi-protein complexes are further required for efficient, localized synaptic signaling. This review will focus on coordination of postsynaptic serine/threonine kinase and phosphatase signaling by scaffold proteins during synaptic plasticity.