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Understanding axon guidance: are we nearly there yet?

Authors
  • Stoeckli, Esther T1
  • 1 University of Zurich, Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, Neuroscience Center Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland [email protected] , (Switzerland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Development
Publisher
The Company of Biologists
Publication Date
May 14, 2018
Volume
145
Issue
10
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1242/dev.151415
PMID: 29759980
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

During nervous system development, neurons extend axons to reach their targets and form functional circuits. The faulty assembly or disintegration of such circuits results in disorders of the nervous system. Thus, understanding the molecular mechanisms that guide axons and lead to neural circuit formation is of interest not only to developmental neuroscientists but also for a better comprehension of neural disorders. Recent studies have demonstrated how crosstalk between different families of guidance receptors can regulate axonal navigation at choice points, and how changes in growth cone behaviour at intermediate targets require changes in the surface expression of receptors. These changes can be achieved by a variety of mechanisms, including transcription, translation, protein-protein interactions, and the specific trafficking of proteins and mRNAs. Here, I review these axon guidance mechanisms, highlighting the most recent advances in the field that challenge the textbook model of axon guidance.

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