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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-248

Zou, Y; Stoeckli, E T; Chen, H; Tessier-Lavigne, M (2000). Squeezing axons out of the gray matter: a role for slit and semaphorin proteins from midline and ventral spinal cord. Cell, 102(3):363-375.



Commissural axons cross the nervous system midline and then turn to grow alongside it, neither recrossing nor projecting back into ventral regions. In Drosophila, the midline repellent Slit prevents recrossing: axons cross once because they are initially unresponsive to Slit, becoming responsive only upon crossing. We show that commissural axons in mammals similarly acquire responsiveness to a midline repellent activity upon crossing. Remarkably, they also become responsive to a repellent activity from ventral spinal cord, helping explain why they never reenter that region. Several Slit and Semaphorin proteins, expressed in midline and/or ventral tissues, mimic these repellent activities, and midline guidance defects are observed in mice lacking neuropilin-2, a Semaphorin receptor. Thus, Slit and Semaphorin repellents from midline and nonmidline tissues may help prevent crossing axons from reentering gray matter, squeezing them into surrounding fiber tracts.


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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Date:4 August 2000
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:14
Last Modified:23 Nov 2012 15:37
Related URLs:http://www.cell.com/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS0092867400000416
PubMed ID:10975526

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