Emerging roles for myosin II and cytoplasmic dynein in migrating neurons and growth cones

Trends Cell Biol. 2009 Jul;19(7):347-55. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2009.03.009. Epub 2009 Jun 11.


Motor proteins are involved in a wide range of cellular and subcellular movements. Recent studies have implicated two motor proteins in particular, myosin II and cytoplasmic dynein, in diverse aspects of cell migration. This review focuses on emerging roles for these proteins in the nervous system, with particular emphasis on migrating neurons and neuronal growth cones. The former cells exhibit unusual features of centrosome and nuclear movement, whereas growth cones offer an opportunity to evaluate motor protein function in a region of cytoplasm free of these organelles.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Dyneins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Myosin Type II / metabolism*
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism


  • Myosin Type II
  • Dyneins