To build a synapse: Signaling pathways in neuromuscular junction assembly

Haitao Wu, Wen C. Xiong, Lin Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

411 Scopus citations


Synapses, as fundamental units of the neural circuitry, enable complex behaviors. The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a synapse type that forms between motoneurons and skeletal muscle fibers and that exhibits a high degree of subcellular specialization. Aided by genetic techniques and suitable animal models, studies in the past decade have brought significant progress in identifying NMJ components and assembly mechanisms. This review highlights recent advances in the study of NMJ development, focusing on signaling pathways that are activated by diffusible cues, which shed light on synaptogenesis in the brain and contribute to a better understanding of muscular dystrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1033
Number of pages17
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Neural development
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Retrograde signaling
  • Synapse formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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