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Enlightening synaptic architecture: nanoscale segregation of glutamate receptor subtypes

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "NANOGLU" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 3584 CS

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-04-01   to  2022-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT NL (UTRECHT) coordinator 1˙500˙000.00


 Project objective

Efficient neuronal communication lies at the heart of all cognitive functions, and synaptic dysfunction underlies mental disorders such as autism. However, although over the past decades many components of synapses have been characterized, it is unknown how these constituents are assembled within synapses, and how this organization contributes to synapse function. The overall aim of this proposal is to understand how excitatory synapses are built to efficiently control neuronal function. Specifically, I aim to reveal the molecular organization that controls glutamate receptor positioning. While AMPA-type glutamate receptors concentrate in nano-domains within the synaptic core that directly apposes the presynaptic release site, metabotropic glutamate receptors accumulate in a distinct perisynaptic domain considerably further from the release site. Despite that this organization critically controls synaptic transmission and plasticity, we know little about the mechanisms that underlie the spatial and temporal segregation of glutamate receptor subtypes into these distinct subsynaptic domains. To address this, I developed single-molecule imaging tools, a powerful dimerization system to control receptor positioning, and physiological read-outs of synapse function.

In this proposal I will combine innovative experimental and computational approaches, integrating single-molecule imaging with optical and electrophysiological measurements of neuronal function to: 1) elucidate the organizational principles that underlie the nano-compartmentalization of glutamate receptors at synapses, and 2) understand how the spatial distribution of receptor subtypes contributes to neuronal functioning.

This project will reveal how nanoscale synapse organization contributes to neuronal circuit function, and will help understand how synaptic disruption contributes to neurological disease mechanisms.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Nicky Scheefhals, Lisa A.E. Catsburg, Margriet L. Westerveld, Thomas A. Blanpied, Casper C. Hoogenraad, Harold D. MacGillavry
Shank Proteins Couple the Endocytic Zone to the Postsynaptic Density to Control Trafficking and Signaling of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5
published pages: 258-269.e8, ISSN: 2211-1247, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.08.102
Cell Reports 29/2 2019-10-28
2018 Nicky Scheefhals, Harold D. MacGillavry
Functional organization of postsynaptic glutamate receptors
published pages: 82-94, ISSN: 1044-7431, DOI: 10.1016/j.mcn.2018.05.002
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 91 2019-04-18

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The information about "NANOGLU" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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