Translational regulation in growth cones

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2011 Aug;21(4):458-64. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2011.04.004. Epub 2011 Apr 27.


Axonal growth cones (GCs) steer in response to extrinsic cues using mechanisms that include local protein synthesis. This adaptive form of gene regulation occurs with spatial precision and depends on subcellular mRNA localisation. Recent genome-wide studies have shown unexpectedly complex and dynamically changing mRNA repertoires in growing axons and GCs. Axonal targeting of some transcripts seems to be highly selective and involves sequence diversity in non-coding regions generated by transcriptional and/or post-transcriptional mechanisms. New evidence reports direct coupling of a guidance receptor to the protein synthesis machinery and other findings demonstrate that some guidance cues can repress translation. The recent findings shed further light on the exquisitely regulated process that enables distant cellular compartments to respond to local stimuli.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Growth Cones / metabolism*
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • RNA, Messenger