Date: 07 Jul 2009

Mitochondrial Transport Dynamics in Axons and Dendrites

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Mitochondrial dynamics and transport have emerged as key factors in the regulation of neuronal differentiation and survival. Mitochondria are dynamically transported in and out of axons and dendrites to maintain neuronal and synaptic function. Transport proceeds through a controlled series of plus- and minus-end directed movements along microtubule tracks (MTs) that are often interrupted by short stops. This bidirectional motility of mitochondria is facilitated by plus end-directed kinesin and minus end-directed dynein motors, and may be coordinated and controlled by a number of mechanisms that integrate intracellular signals to ensure efficient transport and targeting of mitochondria. In this chapter, we discuss our understanding of mechanisms that facilitate mitochondrial transport and delivery to specific target sites in dendrites and axons.