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Cell Cycle. 2004 Jun;3(6):747-51. Epub 2004 Jun 6.

DCX's phosphorylation by not just another kinase (JNK).

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


The mammalian cortex is generally subdivided into six organized layers, which are formed during development in an organized fashion. This organized cortical layering is disrupted in case of mutations in the doublecortin (DCX) gene. DCX is a Microtubule Associated Protein (MAP). However, besides stabilization of microtubules, it may be involved in additional functions. The participation of this molecule in signal transduction is beginning to emerge via discovery of interacting molecules and its regulation by phosphorylation using several different kinases. We raise the hypothesis, that the combinatorial phosphorylation of DCX by different kinases and at different sites may be a molecular regulatory switch in the transition of a migrating neuron through multiple phases of migration. Our recent research has suggested the involvement of DCX in the JNK (Jun-N-terminal Kinase) pathway. The JNK pathway is linked to the reelin pathway, known to regulate cortical layering. Positioning of DCX in this signaling pathway opens up additional possibilities of understanding how migrating neurons are controlled.

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