Signaling from synapse to nucleus: The logic behind the mechanisms

Karl Deisseroth, Paul G. Mermelstein, Houhui Xia, Richard W. Tsien

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

296 Scopus citations


Signaling from synapse to nucleus is vital for activity-dependent control of neuronal gene expression and represents a sophisticated form of neural computation. The nature of specific signal initiators, nuclear translocators and effectors has become increasingly clear, and supports the idea that the nucleus is able to make sense of a surprising amount of fast synaptic information through intricate biochemical mechanisms. Information transfer to the nucleus can be conveyed by physical translocation of messengers at various stages within the multiple signal transduction cascades that are set in motion by a Ca2+ rise near the surface membrane. The key role of synapse-to-nucleus signaling in circadian rhythms, long-term memory, and neuronal survival sheds light on the logical underpinning of these signaling mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-365
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent opinion in neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
RW Tsien is supported by grants from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (58234), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (24067) and National Institute of Mental Health (48108). PG Mermelstein is supported by a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (41302), and a grant from the Whitehall Foundation. K Deisseroth and PG Mermelstein contributed equally to the manuscript.


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