The past few years have seen the convergence of two areas of investigation: the first is the study of the molecular basis for Ca2þ‐dependent axon pathfinding and the second is the molecular and functional characterization of mechanosensitive Ca2þ‐permeant cation channels (MscCa). The convergence of these two fields has reached a pivotal point when some ion channels belonging to the transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamily of proteins, denoted as TRPCs, were reported to play essential roles in the growth cone guidance and, independently, some of these channels were found to form MscCa of vertebrate cells. Various lines of evidence taken together make likely the idea that MscCa can substantially contribute to the spatial and temporal shaping of Ca2þ responses in growing neurites. These findings will be described and the possible contribution of MscCa to the neurite outgrowth will be discussed.
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