Microtubule dynamics in neuronal morphogenesis

Open Biol. 2013 Jul 17;3(7):130061. doi: 10.1098/rsob.130061.


Microtubules (MTs) are essential for neuronal morphogenesis in the developing brain. The MT cytoskeleton provides physical support to shape the fine structure of neuronal processes. MT-based motors play important roles in nucleokinesis, process formation and retraction. Regulation of MT stability downstream of extracellular cues is proposed to be critical for axonogenesis. Axons and dendrites exhibit different patterns of MT organization, underlying the divergent functions of these processes. Centrosomal positioning has drawn the attention of researchers because it is a major clue to understanding neuronal MT organization. In this review, we focus on how recent advances in live imaging have revealed the dynamics of MT organization and centrosome positioning during neural development.

Keywords: axon; centrosome; microtubules; migration; neuron; polarity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Centrosome / metabolism
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Morphogenesis
  • Neurons / physiology*