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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1998 Feb;8(1):73-9.

Axon guidance at choice points.

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Institute of Zoology, University of Basel, Switzerland.


The common theme in many recent axonal pathfinding studies, both in vertebrates and invertebrates, is the demonstration of the importance of a balance between positive and negative cues. The integration of multiple and often opposing molecular interactions at each site along the axon's trajectory, especially at choice points, helps to fine tune the directional response of its growth cone, which continuously samples its environment for guidance cues. The dynamic regulation of the receptors for such cues, in response to extrinsic signals, also enhances the behavioral repertoire of growth cones at different points along their trajectory. Some of the molecules identified as being important for axon guidance at choice points are conserved between invertebrates and vertebrates (e.g. Robo and netrin), whereas other molecules have been identified, so far, only in invertebrates (e.g. Comm) or vertebrates (e.g. axonin-1 and NrCAM).

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