PerspectiveNeuronal Polarization

Actin and Microtubule-Based Cytoskeletal Cues Direct Polarized Targeting of Proteins in Neurons

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Sci. Signal.  11 Aug 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 83, pp. pe49
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.283pe49

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Neuronal proteins are transported to either the axon or dendrites through the action of kinesin motors; however, understanding of how cytoskeletal elements steer these cargo-motor complexes to one compartment or the other has remained elusive. Three recent developments—the discovery of an actin-based filter within the axon initial segment, the identification of the pivotal role played by myosin motors in dendritic targeting, and the determination of the properties of a kinesin motor that cause it to prefer axonal to dendritic microtubules—have now provided a structural framework for understanding polarized targeting in neurons.

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