Nip and tuck at the neuromuscular junction: A role for proteases in developmental synapse elimination

Authors

  • Qiang Chang,

    1. Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 215 Stemmler Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104–6074, USA
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  • Rita J. Balice-Gordon

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 215 Stemmler Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104–6074, USA
    • Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 215 Stemmler Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104–6074, USA
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Abstract

During late embryonic and early postnatal development, synaptic connections are extensively modified so that some functional connections are weakened and eliminated from a neural circuit while others are strengthened and maintained. The mechanisms that underlie synapse elimination are beginning to be understood from studies of the neuromuscular junction. A recent paper(1) provides some intriguing insights into the role proteases may play in the developmental disassembly of neuromuscular synapses.

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