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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2004 Oct;14(5):564-73.

Molecular motors in neuronal development, intracellular transport and diseases.

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Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


Molecular motors such as kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs), dynein superfamily proteins and myosin superfamily proteins have diverse and fundamental roles in many cellular processes, including neuronal development and the pathogenesis of neuronal diseases. During neuronal development, KIFs take significant roles in the regulation of axon-collateral branch extension, which is essential for brain wiring. Cytoplasmic dynein together with LIS1 takes pivotal roles in neocortical layer formation. In axons, anterograde transport is mediated by KIFs, whereas retrograde transport is mediated mainly by cytoplasmic dynein, and dysfunction of motors results in neurodegenerative diseases. In dendrites, the transport of NMDA and AMPA receptors is mediated by KIFs, and the motor has been shown to play a significant part in establishing learning and memory.

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