I am studying whether a protein interacts with the mitochondria in the synapses of neurons and I have come across the term "synaptic targeting". I am reading this paper and I have come across the following:

During synaptic development, proteins aggregate at specialized pre- and postsynaptic structures. Mechanisms that mediate protein clustering at these sites remain unknown. To investigate this process, we analyzed synaptic targeting of a postsynaptic density protein, PSD-95, by expressing green fluorescent protein– (GFP-) tagged PSD-95 in cultured hippocampal neurons.

I am not sure what exactly is meant by the term "synaptic targeting". I have tried Googling the definition but all I get are links to journal papers. I think that synaptic targeting refers to where in the synapse (e.g. presynaptic or postsynaptic ending) a protein is located, but I am not certain. Any insights are appreciated.


PSD-95 is a protein located in the post-synaptic region inside a cell. In fact it's named for this, "post synaptic density-95" referring to the dense appearance of the post synaptic area on an EM microscope and this protein's presence there.

"Synaptic targeting" in this context refers to how that protein gets to where it belongs (the synapse) in the cell, rather than just floating around in the cytoplasm by simple diffusion.


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