Calcium signalling: a key regulator of neuronal migration

J Biochem. 2019 May 1;165(5):401-409. doi: 10.1093/jb/mvz012.


Neuronal migration is a crucial event in neuronal development for the construction of brain architecture and neuronal networks. Newborn neurons proliferate in the germinal zone and start migration toward their final destination. Migrating neurons adopt different routes, cell shapes and migratory modes depending on extracellular factors and outer physical substrates. Intracellular Ca2+ is an essential second messenger that regulates diverse cellular functions by activating Ca2+-dependent signalling molecules that underlie Ca2+-responsive cellular functions. Neuronal migration during brain architecture construction is no exception. Spontaneous Ca2+ transients are observed in several types of migrating neurons, and a series of Ca2+-dependent signalling molecules governing neuronal migration has been identified. In this review, we first summarize the molecular mechanisms that trigger intracellular Ca2+ elevation in migrating neurons. In the latter half of this review, we provide an overview of the literature on Ca2+-dependent signalling molecules underlying neuronal migration.

Keywords: Ca2+; influx; neuronal migration; radial migration; release; signalling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling*
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cell Shape
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ion Transport
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • Glutamic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Calcium