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▪ Abstract  Cells in the immune and nervous systems communicate through informational synapses. The two-dimensional chemistry underlying the process of synapse formation is beginning to be explored using fluorescence imaging and mechanical techniques. Early analysis of two-dimensional kinetic rates (kon and koff) and equilibrium constants (Kd) provides a number of biological insights. First, there are two regimes for adhesion—one disordered with slow kon and the other self-ordered with 104-fold faster kon. Despite huge variation in two-dimensional kon, the two-dimensional koff is like koff in solution, and two-dimensional koff is more closely related to intrinsic properties of the interaction than the two-dimensional kon. Thus difference in koff can be used to set signaling thresholds. Early signaling complexes are compartmentalized to generate synergistic signaling domains. Immune antigen receptor components have a role in neural synapse editing. This suggests significant parallels in informational synapse formation based on common two-dimensional chemistry and signaling strategies.

Original publication




Journal article


Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology


Annual Reviews

Publication Date





133 - 157