The many roles of dystroglycan in nervous system development and function

Jennifer N. Jahncke, Kevin M. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The glycoprotein dystroglycan was first identified in muscle, where it functions as part of the dystrophin glycoprotein complex to connect the extracellular matrix to the actin cytoskeleton. Mutations in genes involved in the glycosylation of dystroglycan cause a form of congenital muscular dystrophy termed dystroglycanopathy. In addition to its well-defined role in regulating muscle integrity, dystroglycan is essential for proper central and peripheral nervous system development. Patients with dystroglycanopathy can present with a wide range of neurological perturbations, but unraveling the complex role of Dag1 in the nervous system has proven to be a challenge. Over the past two decades, animal models of dystroglycanopathy have been an invaluable resource that has allowed researchers to elucidate dystroglycan's many roles in neural circuit development. In this review, we summarize the pathways involved in dystroglycan's glycosylation and its known interacting proteins, and discuss how it regulates neuronal migration, axon guidance, synapse formation, and its role in non-neuronal cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • axon guidance dystrogly canneural migration synapse formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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