Molecular pathways controlling the sequential steps of cortical projection neuron migration

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014;800:1-24. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-7687-6_1.


Coordinated migration of newly-born neurons to their target territories is essential for correct neuronal circuit assembly in the developing brain. Although a cohort of signaling pathways has been implicated in the regulation of cortical projection neuron migration, the precise molecular mechanisms and how a balanced interplay of cell-autonomous and non-autonomous functions of candidate signaling molecules controls the discrete steps in the migration process, are just being revealed. In this chapter, I will focally review recent advances that improved our understanding of the cell-autonomous and possible cell-nonautonomous functions of the evolutionarily conserved LIS1/NDEL1-complex in regulating the sequential steps of cortical projection neuron migration. I will then elaborate on the emerging concept that the Reelin signaling pathway, acts exactly at precise stages in the course of cortical projection neuron migration. Lastly, I will discuss how finely tuned transcriptional programs and downstream effectors govern particular aspects in driving radial migration at discrete stages and how they regulate the precise positioning of cortical projection neurons in the developing cerebral cortex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase / genetics
  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / metabolism
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Serine Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Serine Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • NDEL1 protein, human
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase
  • PAFAH1B1 protein, human
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • reelin protein