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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2006 Jun;16(3):329-35. Epub 2006 May 11.

Importin-mediated nuclear transport in neurons.

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University of California, Los Angeles, Gonda Research Building 3506C, 695 Charles Young Drive South, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1761, USA.


The polarized morphology of neurons poses a particular challenge to intracellular signal transduction. Local signals generated at distal sites must be retrogradely transported to the nucleus to produce persistent changes in neuronal function. Such communication of signals between distal neuronal compartments and the nucleus occurs during axon guidance, synapse formation, synaptic plasticity and following neuronal injury. Recent studies have begun to delineate a role for the active nuclear import pathway in transporting signals from axons and dendrites to the nucleus. In this pathway, soluble cargo proteins are recognized by nuclear transport carriers, called importins, which mediate their translocation from the cytoplasm into the nucleus. In neurons, importins might serve an additional function by carrying signals from distal sites to the soma.

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