Tropomyosins in Neuronal Morphogenesis and Development

  • Nikki Margarita Curthoys
  • Peter William Gunning
  • Thomas Fath
Part of the Advances in Neurobiology book series (NEUROBIOL, volume 3)


This chapter discusses different aspects of Tropomyosins (Tms) in neurons. Section 18.1 is a brief outline of the Tm isoforms found in brain, Section 18.2 a detailed description of the expression patterns of these isoforms throughout development in neurons and the brain, Section 18.3 summarises the actin binding proteins (ABPs) which are localised in neurons and which interact with these Tm isoforms, Section 18.4 discusses the growth cone, and how Tm isoforms and ABPs may work together to regulate structure and function in this compartment, Section 18.5 examines the structure of the synapse, and which Tm isoforms and ABPs are implicated in synapse morphology and function, Section 18.6 is a brief overview of the implications of Tms in neurological disorders, and Section 18.7 summarises the reasons why understanding Tm isoform functions in neurons can aid in our understanding of the processes controlling neuronal morphogenesis and development. Tm isoforms each have specific spatial distributions across tissue, cells and subcellular compartments. These distributions are temporally regulated, with expression levels and localisation of Tms changing throughout development. In brain, the repertoire of Tm isoforms expressed changes with maturation, and a number of changes in the expression levels and localisation of specific Tms are associated with the defined cellular processes of neuronal morphogenesis and differentiation. By mapping the expression of Tms in brain and in neurons, and the developmental shifts in expression, a composite picture is formed of how different Tms can augment actin filament function throughout neuronal maturation.


Actin Actin binding proteins Alternative splicing Brain Differentiation Growth cone Neurological disorders Neurons Synapse Tropomyosin 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikki Margarita Curthoys
    • 1
  • Peter William Gunning
    • 1
  • Thomas Fath
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical SciencesUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, School of Medical SciencesUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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