Article

Structures of netrin-1 bound to two receptors provide insight into its axon guidance mechanism.

Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 06/2014; 344:1275-1279. DOI: 10.1126/science.1255149

ABSTRACT Netrins are secreted proteins that regulate axon guidance and neuronal migration. Deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) is a well-established netrin-1 receptor mediating attractive responses. We provide evidence that its close relative neogenin is also a functional netrin-1 receptor that acts with DCC to mediate guidance in vivo. We determined the structures of a functional netrin-1 region, alone and in complexes with neogenin or DCC. Netrin-1 has a rigid elongated structure containing two receptor-binding sites at opposite ends through which it brings together receptor molecules. The ligand/receptor complexes reveal two distinct architectures: a 2:2 heterotetramer and a continuous ligand/receptor assembly. The differences result from different lengths of the linker connecting receptor domains fibronectin type III domain 4 (FN4) and FN5, which differs among DCC and neogenin splice variants, providing a basis for diverse signaling outcomes.

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