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van den Brink, D.M., Banerji, O., Tear, G. (2013). Commissureless Regulation of Axon Outgrowth across the Midline Is Independent of Rab Function.  PLoS ONE 8(5): e64427.
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Research paper

Nervous system function requires that neurons within neural circuits are connected together precisely. These connections form during the process of axon guidance whereby each neuron extends an axon that migrates, often large distances, through a complex environment to reach its synaptic target. This task can be simplified by utilising intermediate targets to divide the route into smaller sections. This requires that axons adapt their behaviour as they migrate towards and away from intermediate targets. In the central nervous system the midline acts as an intermediate target for commissural axons. In Drosophila commissural axons switch from attraction towards to extension away from the midline by regulating the levels of the Roundabout receptor on their cell surface. This is achieved by Commissureless which directs Roundabout to an intracellular compartment in the soma prior to reaching the midline. Once across the midline Roundabout is allowed to reach the surface and acts as a receptor for the repellent ligand Slit that is secreted by cells at the midline. Here we investigated candidate intracellular mechanisms that may facilitate the intracellular targeting of Commissureless and Roundabout within the soma of commissural neurons. Using modified forms of Commissureless or Rabs we show that neither ubiquitination nor Rab activity are necessary for the intracellular targeting of Commissureless. In addition we reveal that axon outgrowth of many populations of neurons within the Drosophila central nervous system is also independent of Rab activity.

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PMC3655966 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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