In a paper published online ahead of its October 15th print date, Dr. Aaron DiAntonio (Washington University) and colleagues reveal that Phr1, the sole mammalian ortholog of the invertebrate ubiquitin ligase genes highwire (in Drosophila) and rpm-1 (in C. elegans), also plays a crucial role in sculpting the mammalian nervous system, albeit in a distinctly different manner. Using targeted conditional Phr1 mouse mutants, the researchers determined that Phr1, like highwire and rpm-1, regulates formation of the neuromuscular synapse. However, unlike its invertebrate orthologs, Phr1 guides axon tract formation both cell-nonautonomously and independent of the enzyme DLK.
Source: Genes & Development Press Release
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