Shanks - multidomain molecular scaffolds of the postsynaptic density
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The postsynaptic density (PSD) is a protein-rich assembly below the postsynaptic membrane, formed of large scaffolding proteins. These proteins carry a combination of protein interaction domains, which may interact with several alternative partners; the structure of the protein assembly can be regulated in an activity-dependent manner. A major scaffolding molecule in the PSD is Shank, a family of three main isoforms with highly similar domain structure. Proteins of the Shank family are targets of mutations in neurological disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. All the predicted folded domains of Shank have now been crystallized. However, for an understanding of the structure and function of full-length Shank and its complexes in the supramolecular PSD assembly, novel complementary approaches and hybrid techniques must be employed.