A multi-protein receptor-ligand complex underlies combinatorial dendrite guidance choices in C. elegans

Wei Zou, Ao Shen, Xintong Dong, Madina Tugizova, Yang Kevin Xiang, Kang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ligand receptor interactions instruct axon guidance during development. How dendrites are guided to specific targets is less understood. The C. elegans PVD sensory neuron innervates muscle-skin interface with its elaborate dendritic branches. Here, we found that LECT-2, the ortholog of leukocyte cell-derived chemotaxin-2 (LECT2), is secreted from the muscles and required for muscle innervation by PVD. Mosaic analyses showed that LECT-2 acted locally to guide the growth of terminal branches. Ectopic expression of LECT-2 from seam cells is sufficient to redirect the PVD dendrites onto seam cells. LECT-2 functions in a multi-protein receptor-ligand complex that also contains two transmembrane ligands on the skin, SAX-7/L1CAM and MNR-1, and the neuronal transmembrane receptor DMA-1. LECT-2 greatly enhances the binding between SAX- 7, MNR-1 and DMA-1. The activation of DMA-1 strictly requires all three ligands, which establishes a combinatorial code to precisely target and pattern dendritic arbors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere18345
JournaleLife
Volume5
Issue numberOCTOBER2016
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 5 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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