Regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in dendritic spines

Peter Penzes*, Igor Rafalovich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

55 Scopus citations


Spine morphogenesis is largely dependent on the remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. Actin dynamics within spines is regulated by a complex network of signaling molecules, which relay signals from synaptic receptors, through small GTPases and their regulators, to actin-binding proteins. In this chapter, we will discuss molecules involved in dendritic spine plasticity beginning with actin and moving upstream toward neuromodulators and trophic factors that initiate signaling involved in these plasticity events. We will place special emphasis on small GTPase pathways, as they have an established importance in dendritic spine plasticity and pathology. Finally, we will discuss some epigenetic mechanisms that control spine morphogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSynaptic Plasticity
Subtitle of host publicationDynamics, Development and Disease
EditorsMichael Kreutz, Carlo Sala
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598


  • Actin binding proteins
  • GTPase activating proteins
  • Guanine exchange factors
  • Small GTPases
  • Spine synapses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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