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Eur J Neurosci. 2010 Jul;32(2):224-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07353.x.

Differential roles for CaM kinases in mediating excitation-morphogenesis coupling during formation and maturation of neuronal circuits.

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Department of Neurochemistry, University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Ca(2+) -regulated reorganization of actin cytoskeleton is one of the key cell biological events that critically regulate neuronal morphogenesis during circuit formation, spinogenesis during synapse development, and activity-dependent structural plasticity at mature synapses. However, it remains unclear as to what extent the underlying Ca(2+) signaling processes are shared or segregated. Here, we present evidence from the literature that collectively begins to suggest that distinct calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) isoforms are differentially expressed in time and in subcellular space, and thus may be selectively activated and engaged by distinct upstream stimuli; each CaMK isoform, in turn, couples to related, but separate, cytoskeletal and transcriptional regulatory pathways, dependent on its abundance or physical proximity with either the upstream or downstream signaling complexes. These signal transduction characteristics provide the basis for better understanding the role of excitation-morphogenesis coupling via multiple CaMKs during neuronal circuit and synapse formation.

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