Dendritic spines are small actin-rich protrusions that form the postsynaptic part of most excitatory synapses. They play critical roles in synaptic function and exhibit a striking degree of structural plasticity, which is closely linked to changes in strength of synaptic connections. Here the authors summarize recent work that has revealed an important relationship between the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton in controlling spine morphology and plasticity. Dynamic microtubules and the proteins that specifically associate with the growing microtubule plus-ends recently emerged as temporal and spatial regulators of actin organization, which controls dynamic changes in structure and function of dendritic spines.

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The Neuroscientist
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hoogenraad, C.C, & Akhmanova, A.S. (2010). Dendritic spine plasticity: New regulatory roles of dynamic microtubules. The Neuroscientist (Vol. 16, pp. 650–661). doi:10.1177/1073858410386357