Local translation and directional steering in axons

EMBO J. 2007 Aug 22;26(16):3729-36. doi: 10.1038/sj.emboj.7601808. Epub 2007 Jul 26.


The assembly of functional neural circuits in the developing brain requires neurons to extend axons to the correct targets. This in turn requires the navigating tips of axons to respond appropriately to guidance cues present along the axonal pathway, despite being cellular 'outposts' far from the soma. Work over the past few years has demonstrated a critical role for local translation within the axon in this process in vitro, making axon guidance another process that requires spatially localized translation, among others such as synaptic plasticity, cell migration, and cell polarity. This article reviews recent findings in local axonal translation and discusses how new protein synthesis may function in growth cone guidance, with a comparative view toward models of local translation in other systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Brain* / cytology
  • Brain* / growth & development
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Growth Cones / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • RNA, Messenger