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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2006;38(12):2011-7. Epub 2006 Aug 12.

Ryk: a novel Wnt receptor regulating axon pathfinding.

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The Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.


Members of the Wnt family and their receptors, the Frizzleds, are key regulators of pivotal developmental processes including embryonic patterning, specification of cell fate, and determination of cell polarity. The versatility and complexity of Wnt signaling has been further highlighted by the emergence of a novel family of Wnt receptors, the Ryk family. In mammals and flies, Ryk is a key chemorepulsive axon guidance receptor responsible for the establishment of important axon tracts during nervous system development. Although the function of Ryk is currently best understood with respect to this role, its widespread expression, both in developing tissues and in the adult, suggests that Ryk may regulate many essential biological processes. This hypothesis is supported by the multiple developmental phenotypes apparent in Ryk loss-of-function mice. These mice display a variety of embryonic abnormalities, including disruption of skeletal, craniofacial and cardiac development. Here we review Ryk structure and function focusing on its activity as an axon guidance receptor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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