Synapses are specialized cell-cell adhesion contacts that mediate communication within neural networks. During development, excitatory synapses are generated by step-wise recruitment of presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins to sites of contact. Several classes of synaptic organizing complexes have been identified that function during the initial stages of synapse formation. However, mechanisms underlying the later stages of synapse development are less well understood. In recent years, molecules have been discovered that appear to play a role in synapse maturation. In this review, we highlight recent findings that have provided key insights for understanding postsynaptic maturation of developing excitatory synapses with a focus on recruitment of AMPA receptors to developing synapses.
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