Phosphatase Provides Context for Axon Guidance

Science's STKE  06 Jul 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 240, pp. tw245-TW245
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2402004TW245

Developing axons encounter an array of signals telling them to go this way or that. In some cases, the same signaling molecule in one context says "this way" and in another context says "that." Chang et al. have now elucidated some of the molecular complexity in these seemingly redundant but contradictory instructions. Identification of a receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase, CLR-1, in Caenorhabditis elegans provides the key. In some contexts, the CLR-1 partnership with netrin, an axon-guidance molecule, results in attraction; in other contexts, it results in repulsion of growing axon tips.

C. Chang, T. W. Yu, C. I. Bargmann, M. Tessier-Lavigne, Negative regulation of netrin-mediated axon attraction by the receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase CLR-1. Science 305, 103-106 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]