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Role of kinesins in the establishment of neuronal polarity


The neuron is a highly polarized cell. The morphology of a neuron is essential for its function. Little is known about the way in which neurons acquire their polarity.
The specific transport and sorting of the distinct intracellular components into axons and dendrites contribute directly to the establishment of neuronal polarity. Much of this transport is made along microtubules mediated by microtubule-associated motor proteins as the kinesin superfamily.
The hypothesis that our project would like to demonstrate is that during neuronal development many specific kinesins appear. These kinesins would associate with dendritic or axonal vesicles helping them to choose the right microtubules for their appropriate delivery.
For our study we would use fetal rat hippocampal neurons in culture which establish axonal and dendritic arbors with a molecular organization similar to their counterparts in situ. They also have a controlled pattern of development thus providing an homogeneous source of material.

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Meyerhofstraße 1
69117 Heidelberg

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