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EMBO J. 1997 Mar 17;16(6):1258-67.

Shared and distinct functions of RAGS and ELF-1 in guiding retinal axons.

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  • 1Department of Physical Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany.


Two ligands for Eph-related receptor tyrosine kinases, RAGS and ELF-1, have been implicated in the control of development of the retinotectal projection. Both molecules are expressed in overlapping gradients in the tectum, the target area of retinal ganglion cell axons. In two in vitro assays ELF-1 is shown to have a repellent axon guidance function for temporal, but apparently not for nasal axons. RAGS on the other hand is repellent for both types of axons, though to different degrees. Thus, RAGS and ELF-1 share some and differ in other properties. The biological activities of these molecules correlate with the strength of interaction with their receptors expressed on RGC axons. The meaning of these findings for guidance of retinal axons in the tectum is discussed.

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