Cell Biology

Memories of past morphologies

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Science  08 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6355, pp. 1012-1013
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6355.1012-c

When developing neurons round and divide during neuronal differentiation, daughter cells tend to take up the same morphology exhibited by their mother. Boubakar et al. set up a chick embryo slice model to image the polarization of dorsal root ganglion neurons. These neurons differentiate from neural crest cells (NCCs) generated by bipolar progenitors. The authors examined the young neurons directly after their migration or after additional division in situ. Bipolar NCCs lost their polarity and retracted their processes to round for division. The daughter neurons directly acquired bipolar morphology by emitting processes in the same location. The morphological polarity features appeared to be stored by a polarity-associated protein known as Septin-7. Septin-7 “tagged” the process sites during NCC remodeling, allowing the cells to recolonize the original footprints after division.

Neuron 95, 834 (2017).

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