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Dev Biol. 2010 Aug 15;344(2):784-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2010.05.512. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

nev (cyfip2) is required for retinal lamination and axon guidance in the zebrafish retinotectal system.

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Program in Neuroscience, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, and Brain Institute, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.


In the zebrafish retinotectal system, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) project topographically along anterior-posterior (A-P) and dorsal-ventral (D-V) axes to innervate their primary target, the optic tectum. In the nevermind (nev) mutant, D-V positional information is not maintained by dorsonasal retinal axons as they project through the optic tract to the tectum. Here we present a detailed phenotypic analysis of the retinotectal projection in nev and show that dorsonasal axons do eventually find their correct location on the tectum, albeit after taking a circuitous path. Interestingly, nev seems to be specifically required for retinal axons but not for several non-retinal axon tracts. In addition, we find that nev is required both cell autonomously and cell nonautonomously for proper lamination of the retina. We show that nev encodes Cyfip2 (Cytoplasmic FMRP interacting protein 2) and is thus the first known mutation in a vertebrate Cyfip family member. Finally, we show that CYFIP2 acts cell autonomously in the D-V sorting of dorsonasal RGC axons in the optic tract. CYFIP2 is a highly conserved protein that lacks known domains or structural motifs but has been shown to interact with Rac and the fragile-X mental retardation protein, suggesting intriguing links to cytoskeletal dynamics and RNA regulation.

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