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J Neurobiol. 2004 Feb 5;58(2):201-6.

Axonal transport versus dendritic transport.

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PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency, 4-1-8 Honcho Kawaguchi, Saitama, Japan.


Neurons have polarized processes for information output and input, axons, and dendrites. This polarized architecture is essential for the neuronal function. An increasing number of molecular components that mediate neuronal polarity establishment have been characterized over the past few years. The vast majority of these molecules include proteins that act in scaffolding protein complexes to sustain the polarized anchoring of molecules. In addition, more signaling and cytoskeleton-associated proteins have been proposed for establishment of polarity. It has become evident that dendritic and axonal transport of molecules depends on scaffolding/adaptor proteins that are recognized by molecular motors. Current and future research in the neuronal cell polarity will be focused on how different cargo molecules transmit their signals to the cytoskeleton and change its dynamic properties to affect the rate and direction of vesicular movement. In this review, we discuss recent evidence that scaffolding proteins can regulate motor motility and guidance by a mechanism of substrate-cytoskeletal coupling and amino acid modifications during polarized transport.

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