At the lateral wall of the lateral ventricles in the adult rodent brain, neuroblasts form an extensive network of elongated cell aggregates called chains in the subventricular zone and migrate toward the olfactory bulb. The molecular mechanisms regulating this migration of neuroblasts are essentially unknown. Here, we report a novel role for cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5), a neuronal protein kinase, in this process. Using in vitro and in vivo conditional knock-out experiments, we found that Cdk5 deletion impaired the chain formation, speed, directionality, and leading process extension of the neuroblasts in a cell-autonomous manner. These findings suggest that Cdk5 plays an important role in neuroblast migration in the postnatal subventricular zone.
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