Looking Frazzled?

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Science  08 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5485, pp. 1655
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5485.1655c

In Drosophila, Netrins and their receptors DCC and Unc-5 are known to be important for proper axon guidance. However, Hiramoto et al. demonstrate that photoreceptors adopt an unusual mechanism of target guidance involving Netrin and Frazzled, a protein orthologous to DCC. In the developing fly embryo nerve cord the Netrin messenger RNA and Netrin protein do not colocalize. Instead Netrin protein localizes to the dorsolateral region, highly overlapping with the distribution of Frazzled. The Drosophila pioneer neuron dMP2 requires proper localization of Netrin and Frazzled for its migration, but Frazzled does not act as a sensor for Netrin but as an attractant (with Netrin) to guide migrating neurons. Because the dMP2 neuron does not express Frazzled protein, this suggests that another, uncharacterized receptor is expressed by dMP2 neurons which would bind to Frazzled-captured Netrin and send migratory signals inside the dMP2 axon.—JN

Nature406, 886 (2000).

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