The growth cones of developing axons are guided on their journey through the developing nervous system by guidance cues that instruct their progression along a precise pathway towards their target area. The responses of growth cones to many of these guidance cues depend crucially on local mRNA translation in the axon. Axons harbour highly complex transcriptomes and we currently have a very incomplete understanding of which transcripts need to be locally translated to enable growth cones to respond to guidance cues. Using the Xenopus retinal ganglion cells as a model system, I study the dynamics of the translational response in the growth cone and the role of cytoskeletal and adhesion-related mRNA species whose translation is important for growth cone guidance downstream of guidance cues.
Laser capture microdissection
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