Department of Neuroscience and Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair, Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University, 460 w 12th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210
Axon growth is a central event in the development and post-injury plasticity of the nervous system. Growing axons encounter a wide variety of environmental instructions. Much like traffic lights in controlling the migrating axons, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) and heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) often lead to “stop” and “go” growth responses in the axons, respectively. Recently, the LAR family and NgR family molecules were identified as neuronal receptors for CSPGs and HSPGs. These discoveries provided molecular tools for further study of mechanisms underlying axon growth regulation. More importantly, the identification of these proteoglycan receptors offered potential therapeutic targets for promoting post-injury axon regeneration.
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Shen Y. Traffic lights for axon growth: proteoglycans and their neuronal receptors. Neural Regen Res 2014;9:356-61
Acknowledgments: The author thanks Dr. Jerry Silver and Bradley T. Lang (Department of Neurosciences, Case Western Reserve University) for comments and discussion.