Function and regulation of Rnd proteins in cortical projection neuron migrationMore about Open Access at the Crick
Authors listRoberta Azzarelli Francois Guillemot Emilie Pacary
The mammalian cerebral cortex contains a high variety of neuronal subtypes that acquire precise spatial locations and form long or short-range connections to establish functional neuronal circuits. During embryonic development, cortical projection neurons are generated in the areas lining the lateral ventricles and they subsequently undergo radial migration to reach the position of their final maturation within the cortical plate. The control of the neuroblast migratory behavior and the coordination of the migration process with other neurogenic events such as cell cycle exit, differentiation and final maturation are crucial to normal brain development. Among the key regulators of cortical neuron migration, the small GTP binding proteins of the Rho family and the atypical Rnd members play important roles in integrating intracellular signaling pathways into changes in cytoskeletal dynamics and motility behavior. Here we review the role of Rnd proteins during cortical neuronal migration and we discuss both the upstream mechanisms that regulate Rnd protein activity and the downstream molecular pathways that mediate Rnd effects on cell cytoskeleton.