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Rho and Ras GTPases in Axon Growth, Guidance, and Branching

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alan Hall, Giovanna Lalli

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera001818
Pages (from-to)a001818
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives In Biology
Volume2
Issue number2
PublishedFeb 2010

King's Authors

Abstract

The establishment of precise neuronal cell morphology provides the foundation for all aspects of neurobiology. During development, axons emerge from cell bodies after an initial polarization stage, elongate, and navigate towards target regions guided by a range of environmental cues. The Rho and Ras families of small GTPases have emerged as critical players at all stages of axonogenesis. Their ability to coordinately direct multiple signal transduction pathways with precise spatial control drives many of the activities that underlie this morphogenetic program: the dynamic assembly, disassembly, and reorganization of the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, the interaction of the growing axon with other cells and extracellular matrix, the delivery of lipids and proteins to the axon through the exocytic machinery, and the internalization of membrane and proteins at the leading edge of the growth cone through endocytosis. This article highlights the contribution of Rho and Ras GTPases to axonogenesis.

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