Doublecortin (also known as doublecortex, lissencephalin) a microtubule-associated phosphoprotein coded by the gene DCX. Doublecortin binds to microtubules during neuronal migration promoting stability. Doublecortin immunostaining can be used as a marker of new neurons in the adult dentate gyrus and could be used to analyze changes in dentate neurogenesis in hippocampal tissue to study ageing or neurodegenerative diseases.
Mutations to the gene DCX has been shown to lead to isolated lissencephaly sequence (ILS). Individuals with ILS have abnormal brain development that results in lissenecephaly (smooth appearance) instead of the brain’s normal gyri and sulci. Mutations to DCX can also lead to subcortical band heterotopia; which is the migration of neurons to incorrect locations in the brain.
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