CRMPs: critical molecules for neurite morphogenesis and neuropsychiatric diseases

Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Sep;20(9):1037-45. doi: 10.1038/mp.2015.77. Epub 2015 Jun 16.


Neuronal polarity and spatial rearrangement of neuronal processes are central to the development of all mature nervous systems. Recent studies have highlighted the dynamic expression of Collapsin-Response-Mediator Proteins (CRMPs) in neuronal dendritic/axonal compartments, described their interaction with cytoskeleton proteins, identified their ability to activate L- and N-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and delineated their crucial role as signaling molecules essential for neuron differentiation and neural network development and maintenance. In addition, evidence obtained from genome-wide/genetic linkage/proteomic/translational approaches revealed that CRMP expression is altered in human pathologies including mental (schizophrenia and mood disorders) and neurological (Alzheimer's, prion encephalopathy, epilepsy and others) disorders. Changes in CRMPs levels have been observed after psychotropic treatments, and disrupting CRMP2 binding to calcium channels blocked neuropathic pain. These observations, altogether with those obtained from genetically modified mice targeting individual CRMPs and RNA interference approaches, pave the way for considering CRMPs as potential early disease markers and modulation of their activity as therapeutic strategy for disorders associated with neurite abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Dendrites / genetics
  • Dendrites / metabolism
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Morphogenesis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neurons / physiology*


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins