A Glial-Neuronal Signaling Pathway Revealed by Mutations in a Neurexin-Related Protein

Science  26 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5406, pp. 1343-1345
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5406.1343

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In the nervous system, glial cells greatly outnumber neurons but the full extent of their role in determining neural activity remains unknown. Here the axotactin (axo) gene ofDrosophila was shown to encode a member of the neurexin protein superfamily secreted by glia and subsequently localized to axonal tracts. Null mutations of axo caused temperature-sensitive paralysis and a corresponding blockade of axonal conduction. Thus, the AXO protein appears to be a component of a glial-neuronal signaling mechanism that helps to determine the membrane electrical properties of target axons.

  • * Present address: Division of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ganetzky{at}

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