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The Netrin receptor Deleted in colon cancer (Dcc) has been shown to play a pivotal role in the guidance of nascent axons towards the ventral midline in the developing nervous systems of both vertebrates and invertebrates. In contrast, the function during embryogenesis of a second Dcc-like Netrin receptor Neogenin has not yet been defined. We used antisense morpholino oligonucleotides to knockdown Neogenin activity in zebrafish embryos and demonstrate that Neogenin plays an important role in neural tube formation and somitogenesis. In Neogenin knockdown embryos, cavitation within the neural rod failed to occur, producing a neural tube lacking a lumen. Somite formation was also defective, implicating Neogenin in the migration events underlying convergent extension during gastrulation. These observations suggest a role for Neogenin in determining cell polarity or migrational directionality of both neuroectodermal and mesodermal cells during early embryonic development.


David J Mawdsley, Helen M Cooper, Benjamin M Hogan, Stephen H Cody, Graham J Lieschke, Joan K Heath. The Netrin receptor Neogenin is required for neural tube formation and somitogenesis in zebrafish. Developmental biology. 2004 May 1;269(1):302-15

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PMID: 15081375

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