Regulation of the microtubule-dependent process formation. A review based on a comparison between the neuron and the renal glomerular podocyte

N. Kobayashi, K. Mominoki, H. Wakisaka, S. Matsuda, T. Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Microtubular cytoskeletons play a crucial role in the morphogenesis of process-bearing cells, such as the neuron and the renal glomerular podocyte. Microtubules are bundled and stabilized by various microtubule-associated proteins, providing a mechanical basis to maintain the deviated morphology of cell processes. To support the process morphology, microtubules are also associated with other cytoskeletal elements such as actin and intermediate filaments. The microtubular polarity is uniformly plus-end-distal in neuronal axons, whereas in dendrites as well as in podocytes, the polarity is revealed to be non-uniform (i.e., both plus-end-distal and minus-end-distal microtubules are present in cell processes). Recently, this non-uniformity is reported to be established by a microtubule-dependent motor protein. Motor proteins are capable to drive the intracellular transport of cytoskeletal elements in addition to that of membrane vesicles. It is still an open question whether cytoskeletal elements are transported along cell processes as subunits or as polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-439
Number of pages11
JournalActa Anatomica Nipponica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes



  • Motor proteins
  • Neuron
  • Process formation
  • Raicrotubule
  • Renal glomerular podocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy

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