Synapses are the defining feature of the cellular organization of the brain, connecting each neuron with thousands of others. The great morphological diversity of neurons was recognized in the 19th Century, but only in the last 10 years has the remarkable degree of molecular complexity within synapses become apparent. Over 1000 proteins are found in the proteome of the postsynaptic terminal of mammalian synapses. This complexity is organized into networks providing combinatorial signalling for physiological processes, diversity of synapse types and disease susceptibility, as well as providing a new paradigm for the evolution of the brain.

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