Chapter

Cell Biology of the Axon

Volume 48 of the series Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation pp 361-381

Date:

Mitochondrial Transport Dynamics in Axons and Dendrites

  • Konrad E. ZinsmaierAffiliated withArizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neurobiology, University of ArizonaDepartment of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona Email author 
  • , Milos BabicAffiliated withArizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neurobiology, University of ArizonaGraduate Program in Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of Arizona
  • , Gary J. RussoAffiliated withArizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neurobiology, University of ArizonaGraduate Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, University of Arizona

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Abstract

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.