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Trends Neurosci. 2016 Jul;39(7):433-440. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2016.04.009. Epub 2016 May 24.

Microtubules and Growth Cones: Motors Drive the Turn.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA.
2
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA. Electronic address: pbaas@drexelmed.edu.

Abstract

Navigation of the growth cone at the tip of the developing axon is crucial for the proper wiring of the nervous system. Mechanisms of actin-dependent growth cone steering, via signaling cascades, are well documented. Microtubules are also important in growth cone guidance, because their polarized invasion into the peripheral domain on one side of the growth cone is essential for it to turn in that direction. Classically, microtubules have been considered secondary players, invading the peripheral domain only where the actin cytoskeleton permits them to go. Presented here is evidence for an underappreciated mechanism by which signaling cascades can potentially affect growth cone turning, namely through regulatable forces imposed on the microtubules by molecular motor proteins.

KEYWORDS:

actin; axon; growth cone; microtubule; microtubule-severing protein; molecular motor protein

PMID:
27233682
PMCID:
PMC4930683
DOI:
10.1016/j.tins.2016.04.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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