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Neuron. 2007 May 3;54(3):417-27.

Homophilic Dscam interactions control complex dendrite morphogenesis.

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1
Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

Alternative splicing of the Drosophila gene Dscam results in up to 38,016 different receptor isoforms proposed to interact by isoform-specific homophilic binding. We report that Dscam controls cell-intrinsic aspects of dendrite guidance in all four classes of dendrite arborization (da) neurons. Loss of Dscam in single neurons causes a strong increase in self-crossing. Restriction of dendritic fields of neighboring class III neurons appeared intact in mutant neurons, suggesting that dendritic self-avoidance, but not heteroneuronal tiling, may depend on Dscam. Overexpression of the same Dscam isoforms in two da neurons with overlapping dendritic fields forced a spatial segregation of the two fields, supporting the model that dendritic branches of da neurons use isoform-specific homophilic interactions to ensure minimal overlap. Homophilic binding of the highly diverse extracellular domains of Dscam may therefore limit the use of the same "core" repulsion mechanism to cell-intrinsic interactions without interfering with heteroneuronal interactions.

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PMID:
17481395
PMCID:
PMC1963440
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2007.04.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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