The Celsr3 gene, which encodes a cell-surface cadherin molecule, is widely expressed in neurons of the developing brain after they have migrated when they are refining their connections. Zhou et al. prevented Celsr3 expression in a variety of specific regions of the developing mouse brain. Celsr3 expression was critical to the function of guidepost neurons--cells that developing axons use as flags to find their way. In particular, the axon tracts that connect thalamus and cortex depend upon Celsr3 interactions as they develop.
L. Zhou, I. Bar, Y. Achouri, K. Campbell, O. De Backer, J. M. Hebert, K. Jones, N. Kessaris, C. L. de Rouvroit, D. O'Leary, W. D. Richardson, A. M. Goffinet, F. Tissir, Early forebrain wiring: Genetic dissection using conditional Celsr3 mutant mice. Science 320, 946-949 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]