Mougios N, Opazo F, Rizzoli SO, Reshetniak S
The function of the postsynaptic compartment is based on the presence and activity of postsynaptic receptors, whose dynamics are controlled by numerous scaffolding, signaling and trafficking proteins. While the receptors and the scaffolding proteins have received substantial attention, the trafficking proteins have not been investigated extensively. Their mobility rates are unknown, and it is unclear how the postsynaptic environment affects their dynamics. To address this, we analyzed several trafficking proteins (α-synuclein, amphiphysin, calmodulin, doc2a, dynamin, and endophilin), estimating their movement rates in the dendritic shaft, as well as in morphologically-distinct “mushroom” and “stubby” postsynapse types. The diffusion parameters were surprisingly similar across dendritic compartments, and a few differences between proteins became evident only in the presence of a synapse neck. We conclude that the movement of trafficking proteins is not strongly affected by the postsynaptic compartment, in stark contrast to the presynapse, which regulates strongly the movement of such proteins.