Cadherins play many diverse roles in the development of the nervous system of vertebrates. Far from being simple adhesion molecules, they also orchestrate cell generation, cell movements, and cell morphogenesis. Cadherins also regulate specificity of cell-to-cell interactions during neuronal circuit formation and function. Cadherin expression during neural development is also dynamic and highly regulated. At each phase of embryo development, cadherins emerge as key molecular determinants of neural function through their many diverse binding partners. Additionally, they play important roles in the plasticity of the nervous system, a key feature believed to underpin the ability of the brain to function. Many neurodevelopmental disorders also have cadherin disfunction at their heart indicating that cadherin-based therapies may emerge as future treatments for these devastating conditions.
KeywordsCadherin Neuron Progenitor cell Morphogenesis Synapse Mental disorders Dendrite Axon Nucleogenesis
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