Molecular mechanisms of neurite extension

Flavia Valtorta, Chiara Leoni

Abstract

The extension of neurites is a major task of developing neurons, requiring a significant metabolic effort to sustain the increase in molecular synthesis necessary for plasma membrane expansion. In addition, neurite extension involves changes in the subsets of expressed proteins and reorganization of the cytomatrix. These phenomena are driven by environmental cues which activate signal transduction processes as well as by the intrinsic genetic program of the cell. The present review summarizes some of the most recent progress made in the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes.

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