Key regulators in neuronal polarity

Neuron. 2005 Dec 22;48(6):881-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2005.11.007.


Neurons are highly polarized cells, most of which develop a single axon and several dendrites. These two compartments acquire specific characteristics that enable neurons to transmit intercellular signals from several dendrites to an axon. A wealth of recent studies has shown that PI 3-kinase, Rho family GTPases, the Par complex, and cytoskeleton-related proteins participate in the initial events of neuronal polarization. Here, we review the role of polarity-regulating molecules and the potential mechanisms underlying the specification of an axon and dendrites.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Polarity / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Neurites / metabolism*
  • Neurites / ultrastructure
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins