A Morpholino oligo can modify splicing of a pre-mRNA - www.gene-tools.com



Engrailed 1 and engrailed 2 homeoprotein transcription factors (collectively Engrailed) display graded expression in the chick optic tectum where they participate in retino-tectal patterning. In vitro, extracellular Engrailed guides retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons and synergises with ephrin A5 to provoke the collapse of temporal growth cones. In vivo disruption of endogenous extracellular Engrailed leads to misrouting of RGC axons. Here we characterise the signalling pathway of extracellular Engrailed. Our results show that Engrailed/ephrin A5 synergy in growth cone collapse involves adenosine A1 receptor activation after Engrailed-dependent ATP synthesis, followed by ATP secretion and hydrolysis to adenosine. This is, to our knowledge, the first evidence for a role of the adenosine A1 receptor in axon guidance. Based on these results, together with higher expression of the adenosine A1 receptor in temporal than nasal growth cones, we propose a computational model that illustrates how the interaction between Engrailed, ephrin A5 and adenosine could increase the precision of the retinal projection map.

  • Accepted October 27, 2011.
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