The transcription factor Engrailed-2 guides retinal axons

Brunet, Isabelle, Weinl, Christine, Piper,Michael, Trembleau, Alain, Volovitch, Michel, Harris, William, Prochiantz, Alain and Holt, Christine (2005) The transcription factor Engrailed-2 guides retinal axons. Nature, 438 7064: 94-98. doi:10.1038/nature04110

Author Brunet, Isabelle
Weinl, Christine
Trembleau, Alain
Volovitch, Michel
Harris, William
Prochiantz, Alain
Holt, Christine
Title The transcription factor Engrailed-2 guides retinal axons
Journal name Nature   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0028-0836
Publication date 2005-11-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nature04110
Volume 438
Issue 7064
Start page 94
End page 98
Total pages 5
Place of publication London
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject 05 Environmental Sciences
Abstract Engrailed-2 (En-2), a homeodomain transcription factor, is expressed in a caudal-to-rostral gradient in the developing midbrain, where it has an instructive role in patterning the optic tectum - the target of topographic retinal input(1,2). In addition to its well-known role in regulating gene expression through its DNA-binding domain, En-2 may also have a role in cell - cell communication, as suggested by the presence of other domains involved in nuclear export, secretion and internalization(3). Consistent with this possibility, here we report that an external gradient of En-2 protein strongly repels growth cones of Xenopus axons originating from the temporal retina and, conversely, attracts nasal axons. Fluorescently tagged En-2 accumulates inside growth cones within minutes of exposure, and a mutant form of the protein that cannot enter cells fails to elicit axon turning. Once internalized, En-2 stimulates the rapid phosphorylation of proteins involved in translation initiation and triggers the local synthesis of new proteins. Furthermore, the turning responses of both nasal and temporal growth cones in the presence of En-2 are blocked by inhibitors of protein synthesis. The differential guidance of nasal and temporal axons reported here suggests that En-2 may participate directly in topographic map formation in the vertebrate visual system.
Keyword Multidisciplinary Sciences
Ganglion-cell Axons
Optic Tectum
Tyrosine Kinases
Growth Cones
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Wed, 17 Oct 2007, 14:05:41 EST