The genetics of axonal transport and axonal transport disorders

PLoS Genet. 2006 Sep 29;2(9):e124. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0020124.


Neurons are specialized cells with a complex architecture that includes elaborate dendritic branches and a long, narrow axon that extends from the cell body to the synaptic terminal. The organized transport of essential biological materials throughout the neuron is required to support its growth, function, and viability. In this review, we focus on insights that have emerged from the genetic analysis of long-distance axonal transport between the cell body and the synaptic terminal. We also discuss recent genetic evidence that supports the hypothesis that disruptions in axonal transport may cause or dramatically contribute to neurodegenerative diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport / genetics*
  • Axonal Transport / physiology
  • Biological Transport / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / genetics*


  • Molecular Motor Proteins