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Development 134 (21): 3795-3804

Slit and Robo control the development of dendrites in Drosophila CNS

Marie-Pierre Furrer, Irina Vasenkova, Daichi Kamiyama*, Yaira Rosado, and Akira Chiba*,{dagger}

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

{dagger} Author for correspondence (e-mail: akira.chiba{at}miami.edu)

Accepted for publication 4 July 2007.

Abstract: The molecular mechanisms that generate dendrites in the CNS are poorly understood. The diffusible signal molecule Slit and the neuronally expressed receptor Robo mediate growth cone collapse in vivo. However, in cultured neurons, these molecules promote dendritic development. Here we examine the aCC motoneuron, one of the first CNS neurons to generate dendrites in Drosophila. Slit displays a dynamic concentration topography that prefigures aCC dendrogenesis. Genetic deletion of Slit leads to complete loss of aCC dendrites. Robo is cell-autonomously required in aCC motoneurons to develop dendrites. Our results demonstrate that Slit and Robo control the development of dendrites in the embryonic CNS.

Key Words: Dendrite • Slit • Robo


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