IMR Press / JIN / Volume 20 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin2004106
Open Access Review
The role of selected postsynaptic scaffolding proteins at glutamatergic synapses in autism-related animal models
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1 Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 845 05 Bratislava, Slovakia
2 Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 811 06 Bratislava, Slovakia
3 Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 811 06 Bratislava, Slovakia
*Correspondence: (Jan Bakos)
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2021, 20(4), 1047–1057;
Submitted: 20 May 2021 | Revised: 9 July 2021 | Accepted: 18 August 2021 | Published: 30 December 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Pathological changes in synapse formation, plasticity and development are caused by altered trafficking and assembly of postsynaptic scaffolding proteins at sites of glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric acid synapses, suggesting their involvement in the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism. Several autism-related mouse models have been developed in recent years for studying molecular, cellular and behavioural defects to understand the etiology of autism and test potential treatment strategies. In this review, the role of alterations in selected postsynaptic scaffolding proteins in relevant transgene autism-like mouse models is explained. A summary is also provided of selected animal models by paying special attention to interactions between guanylate kinases or membrane-associated guanylate kinases, as well as other synapse protein components which form functional synaptic networks. The study of early developmental stages of autism-relevant animal models help in the understanding the origin and development of diverse autistic symptomatology.

Scaffolding proteins
SH3 domain and ankyrin repeat containing proteins (SHANKs)
Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP)
Contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2)
Fig. 1.
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