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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2010 Oct;20(5):531-7. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2010.07.001. Epub 2010 Aug 2.

Emerging themes of ER organization in the development and maintenance of axons.

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Cellular Neurology Unit, Neurogenetics Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a continuous membrane system comprising the nuclear envelope, polyribosome-studded peripheral sheets, and a polygonal network of smooth tubules extending throughout the cell. Though protein biosynthesis, transport, and quality control in the ER have been extensively studied, mechanisms underlying the heterogeneous architecture of the ER have been clarified more recently. These insights have increased interest in ER morphology changes associated with the development of neuronal axons and dendrites as well as their integration with presynaptic and postsynaptic signaling pathways. A number of proteins involved in shaping and distributing the ER network are mutated in neurological disorders, particularly the hereditary spastic paraplegias, emphasizing the importance of proper ER morphology for the establishment and maintenance of highly polarized neurons.

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