Microtubule Dynamics in Neuronal Morphogenesis
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Microtubules in neurons provide structural stability, and also provide a transport route for cellular cargo carried by motor proteins. Exactly how microtubules are organized and maintained in neurons is not clear, but microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs) in neurons are not required as in non-neuronal cells. Assembly of microtubules within neurons is a major factor that affects neuronal morphology, and is regulated by tubulin availability and other nucleating factors. Maintenance of microtubules is determined in large part by post-translational modifications (PTMs), and regulation of disassembly factors. Consequences of perturbed microtubule dynamics include failure to specify the axon and dendrite of neurons, and can lead to neurological defects due to failed neuronal migration. Inhibited microtubule dynamics in neurons also lead to morphological defects and dampened synaptic plasticity. This review discusses the current state of knowledge regarding the effect of microtubule dynamics on neuronal morphogenesis.
- Biology