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Nat Neurosci. 2013 Sep;16(9):1248-56. doi: 10.1038/nn.3474. Epub 2013 Jul 28.

Toll-6 and Toll-7 function as neurotrophin receptors in the Drosophila melanogaster CNS.

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  • 1School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.

Abstract

Neurotrophin receptors corresponding to vertebrate Trk, p75(NTR) or Sortilin have not been identified in Drosophila, thus it is unknown how neurotrophism may be implemented in insects. Two Drosophila neurotrophins, DNT1 and DNT2, have nervous system functions, but their receptors are unknown. The Toll receptor superfamily has ancient evolutionary origins and a universal function in innate immunity. Here we show that Toll paralogs unrelated to the mammalian neurotrophin receptors function as neurotrophin receptors in fruit flies. Toll-6 and Toll-7 are expressed in the CNS throughout development and regulate locomotion, motor axon targeting and neuronal survival. DNT1 (also known as NT1 and spz2) and DNT2 (also known as NT2 and spz5) interact genetically with Toll-6 and Toll-7, and DNT1 and DNT2 bind to Toll-6 and Toll-7 promiscuously and are distributed in vivo in domains complementary to or overlapping with those of Toll-6 and Toll-7. We conclude that in fruit flies, Tolls are not only involved in development and immunity but also in neurotrophism, revealing an unforeseen relationship between the neurotrophin and Toll protein families.

PMID:
23892553
PMCID:
PMC4634317
DOI:
10.1038/nn.3474
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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