Regulation of cerebral cortex development by Rho GTPases: insights from in vivo studies.
Front. Cell. Neurosci.. 2015-01-07; 8:
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1. Front Cell Neurosci. 2015 Jan 7;8:445. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00445. eCollection
Regulation of cerebral cortex development by Rho GTPases: insights from in vivo
Azzarelli R(1), Kerloch T(2), Pacary E(2).
(1)Department of Oncology, Hutchison/MRC Research Centre, Cambridge Biomedical
Campus, University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK.
(2)Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U862, Neurocentre
Magendie Bordeaux, France ; Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche
Médicale, Physiopathologie de la Plasticité Neuronale, Université de Bordeaux
The cerebral cortex is the site of higher human cognitive and motor functions.
Histologically, it is organized into six horizontal layers, each containing
unique populations of molecularly and functionally distinct excitatory projection
neurons and inhibitory interneurons. The stereotyped cellular distribution of
cortical neurons is crucial for the formation of functional neural circuits and
it is predominantly established during embryonic development. Cortical neuron
development is a multiphasic process characterized by sequential steps of neural
progenitor proliferation, cell cycle exit, neuroblast migration and neuronal
differentiation. This series of events requires an extensive and dynamic
remodeling of the cell cytoskeleton at each step of the process. As major
regulators of the cytoskeleton, the family of small Rho GTPases has been shown to
play essential functions in cerebral cortex development. Here we review in vivo
findings that support the contribution of Rho GTPases to cortical projection
neuron development and we address their involvement in the etiology of cerebral