Screen for Slit/Robo signaling in trunk neural cells reveals new players

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Slits ligands and their Robo receptors are involved in quite disparate cell signaling pathways that include axon guidance, cell proliferation, cell motility and angiogenesis. Neural crest cells emerge by delamination from neural cells in the dorsal neural tube, and give rise to various components of the peripheral nervous system in vertebrates. It is well established that these cells change from a non-migratory to a highly migratory state allowing them to reach distant regions before they differentiate. However, but the mechanism controlling this delamination and subsequent migration are still not fully understood. The repulsive Slit ligand family members, have been classified also as true tumor suppressor molecules. The present study explored in further detail what possible Slit/Robo signals are at play in the trunk neural cells and neural crest cells by carrying out a microarray after Slit2 gain of function in trunk neural tubes. We found that in addition to molecules known to be downstream of Slit/Robo signaling, there were a large set of molecules known to be important in maintaining cells in non-motile, epithelia phenotype. Furthermore, we found new molecules previously not associated with Slit/Robo signaling: cell proliferation markers, Ankyrins and RAB intracellular transporters. Our findings suggest that neural crest cells use and array of different Slit/Robo pathways during their transformation from non-motile to highly motile cells.




Martinez, D., Zuhdi, N., Reyes, M., Ortega, B., Giovannone, D., Lee, V. M., & de Bellard, M. E. (2018). Screen for Slit/Robo signaling in trunk neural cells reveals new players. Gene Expression Patterns, 28, 22–33.

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