Cell Biology

Netrins Expand Their Repertoire

Science's STKE  08 Aug 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 347, pp. tw272
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3472006tw272

The axons that neurons extend elaborate a complex interconnected network. Similarly, the circulatory system is a complex interconnected network of vessels. Wilson et al. now show that the blood vessels and axons respond similarly to netrins, which were originally identified as axonal guidance factors. The receptors that each tissue uses to read the netrin signals, however, are different, and netrins promote angiogenesis through unknown receptors. Netrins stimulated tissues suffering from diabetic or ischemic damage to grow new blood vessels by signaling endothelial cells to manage proliferation and migration.

B. D. Wilson, M. Ii, K. W. Park, A. Suli, L. K. Sorensen, F. Larrieu-Lahargue, L. D. Urness, W. Suh, J. Asai, G. A. H. Kock, T. Thorne, M. Silver, K. R. Thomas, C.-B. Chien, D. W. Losordo, D. Y. Li, Netrins promote developmental and therapeutic angiogenesis. Science 313, 640-644 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]