Cytoskeletal restructuring is essential for nearly all cellular processes in the developing brain. After cell fate determination, newborn cortical neurons must migrate to their final positions while establishing proper axon-dendrite polarity. Significant progress has recently been made towards understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal polarization in vivo. Collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) has long been identified as a microtubule-binding protein that regulates neuronal polarity in vitro. Recent studies provide new insights into the roles of CRMP2 in neuronal migration and subsequent neuronal differentiation. Both the expression and activity of CRMP2 are tightly regulated during cortex development. CRMP2 is suggested to be important in the multipolar-bipolar transition in radial migration. The increasing number of known interaction partners indicates that CRMP2 has functions beyond cytoskeletal regulation, including axonal transport, vesicle trafficking, and neurotransmitter release. This review discusses the current knowledge about CRMP2 in the context of neuronal development and highlights a recent emerging theme regarding its potential therapeutic applications.
Keywords: cortex development; microtubule; neurological disease; neuronal migration; neuronal polarization.
© The Author(s) 2014.