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Neuron. 2004 Oct 14;44(2):219-22.

Generation of recognition diversity in the nervous system.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA. dietmar_schmucker@dfci.harvard.edu


For decades, it has been suggested that complex neural wiring might be specified by extensive diversity in receptor isoforms. Dscam is a cell surface protein with 38,016 potential alternatively spliced isoforms in the fly nervous system. Remarkable binding studies now show that Dscam isoform diversity indeed results in an unprecedented level of recognition diversity, showing isoform-specific homophilic binding. In vivo studies have begun to suggest models for use of Dscam diversity in neuron-target recognition, axon fasciculation, and neuron self-recognition.

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