Two Eph receptor tyrosine kinase ligands control axon growth and may be involved in the creation of the retinotectal map in the zebrafish

Brennan, C., Monschau, B., Lindberg, R., Guthrie, B., Drescher, U., Bonhoeffer, F., and Holder, N.
Development (Cambridge, England)   124(3): 655-664 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Bonhoeffer, Friedrich, Brennan, Caroline, Holder, Nigel
Eph ligands; retinotectal map; zebrafish; axon guidance
MeSH Terms
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Axons*
  • Binding Sites
  • COS Cells
  • Central Nervous System/embryology
  • Central Nervous System/metabolism
  • Chick Embryo
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/metabolism*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells/metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Superior Colliculi/embryology*
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
9043080 Full text @ Development
The isolation and characterisation of two zebrafish Eph receptor ligand cDNAs which we have called zfEphL3 and zfEphL4 is described. These genes are expressed in the presumptive midbrain of developing embryos from 6 somites. By 24 hours L3 is expressed throughout the midbrain including the region of the presumptive tectum whereas L4 is strongly expressed in the midbrain caudal to the presumptive tectum. At later stages of development L3 is expressed in a graded fashion throughout the tectum and L4 is maintained at its posterior margin. Growth cone collapse and pathway selection assays demonstrate that both these proteins have a collapse activity for retinal ganglion cells. When faced with a choice of substrate on which to grow, temporal axons from chick retinal ganglion cells selectively avoided membranes from Cos cells transfected with L3, whereas nasal axons did not. Both temporal and nasal axons avoided membranes from Cos cells transfected with L4. The expression patterns together with the functional data suggest that although both ligands may be able to guide retinal ganglion cells axons in vitro, they have different roles in the guidance of retinotectal projections in vivo. The expression of L3 is consistent with a role in the guidance of retinal ganglion cells to their targets on the tectum whereas that of L4 suggests a role in delineating the posterior boundary of the optic tectum.
Genes / Markers
Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes