Activity dependent CAM cleavage and neurotransmission

Katherine Conant, Megan Allen, Seung T. Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Spatially localized proteolysis represents an elegant means by which neuronal activity dependent changes in synaptic structure, and thus experience dependent learning and memory, can be achieved. In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that matrix metalloproteinase and adamalysin activity is concentrated at the cell surface, and emerging evidence suggests that increased peri-synaptic expression, release and/or activation of these proteinases occurs with enhanced excitatory neurotransmission. Synaptically expressed cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) could therefore represent important targets for neuronal activity-dependent proteolysis. Several CAM subtypes are expressed at the synapse, and their cleavage can influence the efficacy of synaptic transmission through a variety of non-mutually exclusive mechanisms. In the following review, we discuss mechanisms that regulate neuronal activity-dependent synaptic CAM shedding, including those that may be calcium dependent. We also highlight CAM targets of activity-dependent proteolysis including neuroligin and intercellular adhesion molecule-5 (ICAM-5). We include discussion focused on potential consequences of synaptic CAM shedding, with an emphasis on interactions between soluble CAM cleavage products and specific pre- and post-synaptic receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number305
JournalFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Issue numberAUGUST
StatePublished - Aug 11 2015


  • Adhesion
  • CAM
  • Dendritic spine
  • Glutamate
  • MMP
  • Metalloproteases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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