The Molecular Biology of Axon Guidance

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Science  15 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5290, pp. 1123-1133
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5290.1123


Neuronal growth cones navigate over long distances along specific pathways to find their correct targets. The mechanisms and molecules that direct this pathfinding are the topics of this review. Growth cones appear to be guided by at least four different mechanisms: contact attraction, chemoattraction, contact repulsion, and chemorepulsion. Evidence is accumulating that these mechanisms act simultaneously and in a coordinated manner to direct pathfinding and that they are mediated by mechanistically and evolutionarily conserved ligand-receptor systems.

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