Proteomic analyses of brain tissues are becoming an integral component of neuroscientific research. In particular, the essential role of the synapse in neurotransmission and plasticity has brought about extensive efforts to identify its protein constituents. Recent studies have used a combination of subcellular fractionation and proteomic techniques to identify proteins associated with different components of the synapse. Thus, a coherent map of the synapse proteome is rapidly emerging, and a timely review of these data is warranted. In the first part of this review, neuroproteomic techniques that have been used to analyze the synapse proteome are described. We then summarize the results from several recent proteomic analyses of mammalian synapses and discuss the similarities and differences in their profiling of synaptic proteins. Important advances in this field of research include the use of proteomics to analyze synaptic function and drug effects on synaptic proteins. This article presents an overview of proteomic analyses of the phosphorylation states of synaptic proteins and recent applications of neuroproteomic techniques to the study of drug addiction. Finally, we discuss the challenges in comparing proteomic studies of drug addiction and the future directions of this field in furthering our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic function and drug addiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-468
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


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