Emerging roles of the centrosome in neuronal development

Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2020 Mar;77(3-4):84-96. doi: 10.1002/cm.21593. Epub 2020 Jan 20.


The role of the centrosome-a microtubule-organizing center-in neuronal development has been under scrutiny and is controversial. The function and position of the centrosome have been shown to play an important role in selecting the position of axon outgrowth in cultured neurons and in situ. However, other studies have shown that axonal growth is independent of centrosomal functions. Recent discoveries define the centrosome as an F-actin organizing organelle in various cell types; thus, giving a whole new perspective to the role of the centrosome in lymphocyte polarity, cell division, and neuronal development. These discoveries compel the need to revisit centrosomal functions by investigating the fundamental mechanisms that regulate centrosomal F-actin remodeling during neuronal differentiation and polarization. In this review, we summarize the up-to-date knowledge regarding the function of the centrosome in neuronal differentiation. We put special emphasis on recent findings describing the centrosome as an F-actin organizing center. Additionally, with the available data regarding centrosome, microtubules and F-actin organization, we provide a model on how centrosomal F-actin could be modulating neuronal differentiation and polarity.

Keywords: F-actin; centrosome; neuronal differentiation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Centrosome / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*