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Annu Rev Biochem. 2006;75:607-27.

Axonal transport and Alzheimer's disease.

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Institute of Clinical Neurophysiology, Division of Neurology, University Medical Center, SI-1525 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


In contrast to most eukaryotic cells, neurons possess long, highly branched processes called axons and dendrites. In large mammals, such as humans, some axons reach lengths of over 1 m. These lengths pose a major challenge to the movement of proteins, vesicles, and organelles between presynaptic sites and cell bodies. To overcome this challenge axons and dendrites rely upon specialized transport machinery consisting of cytoskeletal motor proteins generating directed movements along cytoskeletal tracks. Not only are these transport systems crucial to maintain neuronal viability and differentiation, but considerable experimental evidence suggests that failure of axonal transport may play a role in the development or progression of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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