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Mol Cell Neurosci. 1996 Jan;7(1):62-74.

Expression of the Tyro4/Mek4/Cek4 gene specifically marks a subset of embryonic motor neurons and their muscle targets.

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Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Tyro4 is a member of the eph family of receptor protein-tyrosine kinases. We present sequence analysis that identifies Tyro4 as the rat homolog of mouse Mek4 and chick Cek4. We also present expression studies that demonstrate an evolutionarily conserved pattern of expression for Tyro4, Mek4, and Cek4. Most strikingly, we find this receptor to be specifically expressed, in all three species, in a subset of motor neurons in the medial motor column and in a subset of axial, but not limb, muscles. Mek4 has previously been ascribed a role in guiding retinal axons to their targets in the optic tectum. Our results extend the purported role of Mek4 in axon guidance to include motor neurons of the medial motor column.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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