Function and translational regulation of mRNA in developing axons

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2007 Apr;18(2):209-15. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2007.01.003. Epub 2007 Feb 1.


The capacity to synthesize proteins in axons is limited to early stages of neuronal development, while axons are undergoing elongation and pathfinding. Although the roles of local protein synthesis are not fully understood, it has been implicated in regulating the morphological plasticity of growth cones. Recent studies have identified specific mRNAs that are translated in growth cones in response to specific extracellular signals. In this review, we discuss the functional relevance of axonal protein translation for developing axons, the differences in translational capacity between developing and mature vertebrate axons, and possible pathways governing the specific translational activation of axonal mRNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Growth Cones / physiology
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins