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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2010 Aug;20(4):481-8. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2010.04.012. Epub 2010 May 27.

Building and maintaining the axon initial segment.

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MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King's College London, 4th Floor, New Hunt's House, Guy's Campus, London SE1 1UL, UK.


The axon initial segment is a unique neuronal subregion involved in the initiation of action potentials and in the control of axonal identity. Recent work has helped our understanding of how this specialised structure develops, not least in identifying possible mechanisms leading to the localisation of the AIS's master organiser protein, ankyrin-G. The most exciting current work, however, focuses on later aspects of AIS function and plasticity. Recent studies have shown that the AIS is subdivided into distinct structural and functional domains, have demonstrated how the AIS acts as a cytoplasmic barrier for axonal transport, and have discovered that the AIS can be surprisingly plastic in its responses to alterations in neuronal activity.

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