Towards a quantitative model of the post-synaptic proteome

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The postsynaptic compartment of the excitatory glutamatergic synapse contains hundreds of distinct polypeptides with a wide range of functions (signalling, trafficking, cell-adhesion, etc.). Structural dynamics in the post-synaptic density (PSD) are believed to underpin cognitive processes. Although functionally and morphologically diverse, PSD proteins are generally enriched with specific domains, which precisely define the mode of clustering essential for signal processing. We applied a stochastic calculus of domain binding provided by a rule-based modelling approach to formalise the highly combinatorial signalling pathway in the PSD and perform the numerical analysis of the relative distribution of protein complexes and their sizes. We specified the combinatorics of protein interactions in the PSD by rules, taking into account protein domain structure, specific domain affinity and relative protein availability. With this model we interrogated the critical conditions for the protein aggregation into large complexes and distribution of both size and composition. The presented approach extends existing qualitative protein-protein interaction maps by considering the quantitative information for stoichiometry and binding properties for the elements of the network. This results in a more realistic view of the postsynaptic proteome at the molecular level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2813-2823
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular BioSystems
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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