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Cell-Intrinsic Requirement of Dscam1 Isoform Diversity for Axon Collateral Formation

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Science  15 May 2014:
1251852
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251852

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Abstract

The isoform diversity of the Drosophila Dscam1 receptor is important for neuronal self-recognition and self-avoidance. A canonical model suggests that homophilic binding of identical Dscam1 receptor isoforms on sister dendrites ensures self-avoidance even when just a single isoform is expressed. Here, we report on a cell-intrinsic function requiring the co-expression of multiple isoforms. Manipulation of the Dscam1 isoform pool in single neurons causes severe disruption of collateral formation of mechanosensory axons. Changes in isoform abundance lead to dominant dosage sensitive inhibition of branching. We propose that the ratio of matching to non-matching isoforms within a cell influences the Dscam1-mediated signaling strength controlling axon growth and growth-cone sprouting. Cell-intrinsic use of surface receptor diversity may be of general importance in regulating axonal branching during brain wiring.

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