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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Dec;23(6):1005-10. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2013.06.011. Epub 2013 Jul 18.

Shaping dendrites with machinery borrowed from epithelia.

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Division of Genetics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, United States; Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, United States.


The ciliated receptive endings of sensory cells and the dendrites of other neurons are shaped by adhesive interactions, many of which depend on machinery also present in epithelia. Sensory cells are shaped by interactions with support cells through adhesion junctions via the Crumbs complex, tight junction components such as claudins, as well as interactions with apical extracellular matrix composed of zona pellucida domain proteins. Neuronal dendrites are shaped by adhesion machinery that includes cadherins, catenins, afadin, L1CAM, CHL1, Sidekicks, Contactin and Caspr, many of which are shared with epithelia. This review highlights this shared machinery, and suggests that mechanisms of epithelial morphogenesis may thus provide a guide to understanding dendrite morphogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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