All brain processes depend on synaptic activity. Synapses, however, do not operate in a static way but rather dynamically change their output, which in turn alters the overall neural network activity. Although it is known that the dynamic rearrangements of synaptic proteins account for the changes in synaptic activity, a complete understanding of how these dynamic rearrangements are regulated is still not clear.
We aim to contribute to our current understanding of how protein dynamics are controlled and how they affect synaptic function. Specifically, we will address 1) how differences in protein organization encode synaptic heterogeneity, 2) how posttranslational modifications control synaptic protein function, and 3) how astrocytic substances affect synaptic structure and function. To this end, we will use biochemical experiments, electrophysiological recordings, super-resolution microscopy, and high-pressure freezing electron microscopy.