Molecular mechanisms of directed growth cone motility

Perspect Dev Neurobiol. 1996;4(2-3):137-45.


Establishing molecular mechanisms of axon guidance presents one of the greatest challenges in understanding the development of the nervous system. There are many neurons, and each neuron by virtue of its location, biochemistry, and time of development, may generate a unique axon morphology in its response to environmental cues that may also change during development. The context dependence and combinatorial nature of these interactions make analysis of axon guidance particularly difficult. This article will focus on the neuronal growth cone as axon guidance is controlled by interaction of the growth cone with its environment. I present here an overview of growth cone motility from the perspective of cytoskeletal dynamics. I conclude with a discussion of our application of regional laser inactivation of growth cone proteins to address what proteins might be involved in locally modulating the cytoskeleton and how they affect growth cone motility.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Humans
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Second Messenger Systems