The complex anatomy of neurons demands a high degree of functional organization. Therefore, membrane receptors and ion channels are often localized to selected subcellular sites and coupled to specific signal transduction machineries. PDZ domains have come into focus as protein interaction modules that mediate the binding of a class of submembraneous proteins to membrane receptors and ion channels and thus subserve these organizational aspects. The structures of two PDZ domains have been resolved, which has led to a structural understanding of the specificity of interactions of various PDZ domains with their respective partners. The functional implications of PDZ domain interactions are now being addressed in vitro and in vivo.
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