Editors' ChoiceNeurobiology

When the Attraction Is Gone

Science's STKE  29 Aug 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 47, pp. tw2
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.47.tw2

Environmental cues that are attractive or repulsive tell a migrating axon where to go by sending signals through the appropriate cell surface receptors. How is it then that for retraction to occur, a cell surface receptor must first engage with the repulsion factor and then overcome the adhesive force? Hattori et al. and Galko and Tessier-Lavigne report that these interactions can be broken by metalloprotease enzymes that result in the release of the axon from its captor. In a Perspective, Pasquale discusses how the involvement of cell surface metalloproteases in regulating axon guidance is a compelling solution to this puzzling paradox.

Hattori, M., Osterfield, M., and Flanagan, J.G. (2000) Regulated cleavage of a contact-mediated axon repellent. Science 289: 1360-1365. [Abstract] [Full Text]

Galko, M.J., and Tessier-Lavigne, M. (2000) Function of an axonal chemoattractant modulated by metalloprotease activity. Science 289: 1365-1367. [Abstract] [Full Text]

Pasquale, E. (2000) Turning attraction into repulsion. Science 289: 1308-1310. [Full Text]