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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mammalian motoneuron axon targeting requires receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases sigma and delta.

The leukocyte common antigen-related (LAR) subfamily of receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases (RPTPs), LAR, RPTP-sigma, and RPTP-delta, regulate neuroendocrine development, axonal regeneration, and hippocampal long-term potentiation in mammals. In Drosophila, RPTPs are required for appropriate axon targeting during embryonic development. In contrast, deletion of any one of the three LAR- RPTP family members in mammals does not result in gross axon targeting defects. Both RPTP-sigma and RPTP-delta are highly expressed in the developing mammalian nervous system, suggesting they might be functionally redundant. To test this hypothesis, we generated RPTP-sigma and RPTP-delta (RPTP-sigma/delta) double-mutant mice. Although embryonic day 18.5 RPTP-sigma and RPTP-delta single-mutant embryos were viable, RPTP-sigma/delta double mutants were paralyzed, were never observed to draw a breath, and died shortly after cesarean section. RPTP-sigma/delta double mutants exhibit severe muscle dysgenesis and severe loss of motoneurons in the spinal cord. Detailed analysis of the projections of phrenic nerves in RPTP-sigma/delta double mutants indicated that these motoneuron axons emerge normally from the cervical spinal cord, but stall on reaching the diaphragm. Our results demonstrate that RPTP-sigma and RPTP-delta complement each other functionally during mammalian development, and reveal an essential contribution of RPTP-sigma and RPTP-delta to appropriate motoneuron axon targeting during mammalian axonogenesis.[1]


  1. Mammalian motoneuron axon targeting requires receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases sigma and delta. Uetani, N., Chagnon, M.J., Kennedy, T.E., Iwakura, Y., Tremblay, M.L. J. Neurosci. (2006) [Pubmed]
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