Neuronal migration and disorders - an update

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2021 Feb;66:57-68. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2020.10.002. Epub 2020 Oct 20.


This review highlights genes, proteins and subcellular mechanisms, recently shown to influence cortical neuronal migration. A current view on mechanisms which become disrupted in a diverse array of migration disorders is presented. The microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton is a major player in migrating neurons. Recently, variable impacts on MTs have been revealed in different cell compartments. Thus there are a multiplicity of effects involving centrosomal, microtubule-associated, as well as motor proteins. However, other causative factors also emerge, illuminating cortical neuronal migration research. These include disruptions of the actin cytoskeleton, the extracellular matrix, different adhesion molecules and signaling pathways, especially revealed in disorders such as periventricular heterotopia. These recent advances often involve the use of human in vitro models as well as model organisms. Focusing on cell-type specific knockouts and knockins, as well as generating omics and functional data, all seem critical for an integrated view on neuronal migration dysfunction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Movement
  • Cerebral Cortex*
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Humans
  • Microtubules
  • Neurons*