As well mediating most synaptic transmission in the mammalian central nervous system, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazolepropionate (AMPA) receptors are involved in the processes of synapse formation, stabilization and plasticity. Thus the mechanisms that control the developmental and activity-dependent changes in the functional synaptic expression of AMPA receptors are of fundamental importance. In the last few years dramatic advances have been achieved towards elucidating some of the molecular events involved, and a previously unsuspected complexity of proteins that selectively interact directly or indirectly with individual AMPA receptor subunits have been identified. Here I present an overview of some of the main interacting proteins, and describe what we know about how these may fit into cellular pathways that control AMPA receptor targeting, trafficking and functional expression.

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