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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2004 Jun;36(6):975-80.

The neuronal class 2 TSR proteins F-spondin and Mindin: a small family with divergent biological activities.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Hadassah Medical School, Hebrew University, P.O. Box 12272, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.


F-spondin and Mindin are members of a subgroup of the thrombospondin type 1 (TSR) class molecules, defined by two domains of homology, the FS1/FS2 and TSR domains. The TSRs of F-spondin proteins are typical of class 2 TSRs. F-spondin and Mindin are evolutionarily conserved proteins. The embryonic expression of the vertebrate genes is enriched in the nervous system, mainly at the floor plate and the hippocampus. Similar to thrombospondin, F-spondin and Mindin are extracellular matrix attached molecules that promote neurite outgrowth and inhibit angiogenesis. Analysis of gain and loss of function experiments reveal that F-spondin is required for accurate pathfinding of embryonic axons. F-spondin plays a dual role in patterning axonal trajectories: it promotes the outgrowth of commissural and inhibits the outgrowth of motor axons. Macrophages of Mindin-deficient mice exhibit defective responses to a broad spectrum of microbial stimuli. This may implicate Mindin and F-spondin in inflammatory processes in the nervous system.

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