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Vol. 11, No. 3, 2002
Issue release date: May–June 2002

Syntrophins and Dystrobrevins: Defining the Dystrophin Scaffold at Synapses

Albrecht D.E. · Froehner S.C.
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Abstract

Dystrophin and its associated proteins were originally identified in skeletal muscle, where the complex provides mechanical stabilization to the sarcolemma during contraction. However, the dystrophin complex is also present at membrane specializations in many non-muscle cells, including synaptic sites in neurons. The function of the dystrophin complex at these sites is still unknown, but emerging results suggest that the dystrophin complex can function as a scaffold for signaling proteins. In this review, we examine the growing body of evidence that suggests the dystrophin complex may have a dual function: membrane stabilization and transmembrane signaling. We focus on the role of two dystrophin-associated proteins, syntrophin and dystrobrevin, in the formation of a signaling scaffold and review evidence suggesting a role in synapse formation and maintenance.



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