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Mol Neurobiol. 2009 Aug;40(1):1-14. doi: 10.1007/s12035-009-8065-0. Epub 2009 Mar 28.

Polarity regulation in migrating neurons in the cortex.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, The Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot, Israel.


The formation of the cerebral cortex requires migration of billions of cells from their birth position to their final destination. A motile cell must have internal polarity in order to move in a specified direction. Locomotory polarity requires the coordinated polymerization of cytoskeletal elements such as microtubules and actin combined with regulated activities of the associated molecular motors. This review is focused on migrating neurons in the developing cerebral cortex, which need to attain internal polarity in order to reach their proper target. The position and dynamics of the centrosome plays an important function in this directed motility. We highlight recent interesting findings connecting polarity proteins with neuronal migration events regulated by the microtubule-associated molecular motor, cytoplasmic dynein.

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