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Following direction: How neurons can tell top from bottom and front from back
Date:6/19/2014

aling components reveals previously unknown and unexpected redundant roles for Wnt and netrin signaling pathways in both D/V and A/P guidance of migrating cells and axons in C. elegans, as well as in processes essential for organ function and viability. Thus, in addition to providing polarity information for migration along the axis of their gradation, Wnts and netrin are each able to guide migrations orthogonal to the axis of their gradation.'

"These results suggest the existence of novel mechanisms for guiding cell migrations that are different from previously demonstrated mechanisms involving simple attraction toward or repulsion away from a guidance cue. Now we're trying to illuminate them," says Dr. Culotti.

"This is an excellent example of the power of genetic analysis of the worm in neurobiology," says Dr. Jim Woodgett, Director of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum. "The exquisite sensitivity of being able to track the migration behavior of a single neuron coupled with robust tests is simply not possible yet in mammalian models. Yet now that this pathway interaction has been shown to occur, it'll only be a matter of time for someone to replicate it in mice."

The paper, "Netrins and Wnts Function Redundantly to Regulate Antero-Posterior and Dorso-Ventral Guidance in C. elegans," was published online in PLoS GENETICs on June 5, 2014. Funders include the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Canada Research Chairs, and Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation.


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Contact: Polly Thompson
pthompson@lunenfeld.ca
41-658-648-002-046
Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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