Axon guidance: asymmetric signaling orients polarized outgrowth

Christopher C. Quinn, William G. Wadsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


A network of connections is established as neural circuits form between neurons. To make these connections, neurons initiate asymmetric axon outgrowth in response to extracellular guidance cues. Within the specialized growth cones of migrating axons, F-actin and microtubules asymmetrically accumulate where an axon projects forward. Although many guidance cues, receptors and intracellular signaling components that are required for axon guidance have been identified, the means by which the asymmetry is established and maintained is unclear. Here, we discuss recent studies in invertebrate and vertebrate organisms that define a signaling module comprising UNC-6 (the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of netrin), UNC-40 (the C. elegans ortholog of DCC), PI3K, Rac and MIG-10 (the C. elegans ortholog of lamellipodin) and we consider how this module could establish polarized outgrowth in response to guidance cues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-603
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology


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