Editors' ChoiceNeurobiology

SADly Promoting Neuronal Polarity

Science's STKE  15 Feb 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 271, pp. tw64
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2712005tw64

As neurons wire together networks of communication, they need to know not only which other neurons to connect to, but in which direction they should send signals. Such polarity within a single neuron is reflected by its morphology: Multiple short dendrites receive signals, and the single longer axon sends signals. Kishi et al. examined the role of SAD protein kinases, relatives of nematode synaptic differentiation regulators, in establishing neuronal polarity. Neurons lacking SADs did not polarize to produce morphologically and functionally distinct axons and dendrites.

M. Kishi, Y. A. Pan, J. G. Crump, J. R. Sanes, Mammalian SAD kinases are required for neuronal polarization. Science 307, 929-932 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]