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Exp Neurol. 2010 May;223(1):28-37. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2009.06.004. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

The role of local protein synthesis and degradation in axon regeneration.

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Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, UK.


In axotomised regenerating axons, the first step toward successful regeneration is the formation of a growth cone. This requires a variety of dynamic morphological and biochemical changes in the axon, including the appearance of many new cytoskeletal, cell surface and signalling molecules. These changes suggest the activation of coordinated complex cellular processes. A recent development has been the demonstration that the regenerative ability of some axons depends on their capacity to locally synthesise new proteins and degrade others at the injury site autonomously from the cell body. There are also events involving the degradation of cytoskeletal and other molecules, and activation of signalling pathways, with axotomy-induced calcium changes probably being an initiating event. A future challenge will be to understand how this complex network of processes interacts in order to find therapeutic ways of promoting the regeneration of CNS axons.

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