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This article is the author's final published version in Cell Reports Methods, Volume 3, Issue 5, 22 May 2023, Article number 100477.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).


Chemical neurotransmission occurs at specialized contacts where neurotransmitter release machinery apposes neurotransmitter receptors to underlie circuit function. A series of complex events underlies preand postsynaptic protein recruitment to neuronal connections. To better study synaptic development in individual neurons, we need cell-type-specific strategies to visualize endogenous synaptic proteins. Although presynaptic strategies exist, postsynaptic proteins remain less studied because of a paucity of cell-type-specific reagents. To study excitatory postsynapses with cell-type specificity, we engineered dlg1[4K], a conditionally labeled marker of Drosophila excitatory postsynaptic densities. With binary expression systems, dlg1[4K] labels central and peripheral postsynapses in larvae and adults. Using dlg1[4K], we find that distinct rules govern postsynaptic organization in adult neurons, multiple binary expression systems can concurrently label pre- and postsynapse in a cell-type-specific manner, and neuronal DLG1 can sometimes localize presynaptically. These results validate our strategy for conditional postsynaptic labeling and demonstrate principles of synaptic organization.

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