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Mech Dev. 2003 Mar;120(3):385-96.

Identification and characterization of a novel mouse plexin, plexin-A4.

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Group of Developmental Neurobiology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Science, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan.


Plexins belonging to the plexin-A subfamily form complexes with neuropilins and propagate signals of class 3 semaphorins into neurons, even though they do not directly bind the semaphorins. In this study, we identified a new member of the plexin-A subfamily in the mice, plexin-A4, and showed that it was expressed in the developing nervous system with a pattern different to that of other members of the plexin-A subfamily (plexin-A1, plexin-A2 and plexin-A3). COS-7 cells coexpressing plexin-A4 with neuropilin-1 were induced to contract by Sema3A, a member of the class 3 semaphorin. Ectopic expression of plexin-A4 in mitral cells that are originally insensitive to Sema3A resulted in the collapse of growth cones in the presence of Sema3A. These results suggest that plexin-A4 plays a role in the propagation of Sema3A activities.

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