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      A Novel Member of the Netrin Family, β-Netrin, Shares Homology with the β Chain of Laminin : Identification, Expression, and Functional Characterization

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          The netrins are a family of laminin-related molecules. Here, we characterize a new member of the family, β-netrin. β-Netrin is homologous to the NH 2 terminus of laminin chain short arms; it contains a laminin-like domain VI and 3.5 laminin EGF repeats and a netrin C domain. Unlike other netrins, this new netrin is more related to the laminin β chains, thus, its name β-netrin. An initial analysis of the tissue distribution revealed that kidney, heart, ovary, retina, and the olfactory bulb were tissues of high expression. We have expressed the molecule in a eukaryotic cell expression system and made antibodies to the expressed product. Both in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were used to describe the cellular source of β-netrin and where β-netrin is deposited. β-Netrin is a basement membrane component; it is present in the basement membranes of the vasculature, kidney, and ovaries. In addition, β-netrin is expressed in a limited set of fiber tracts within the brain, including the lateral olfactory tract and the vomeronasal nerve. Functional studies were performed and show that β-netrin promotes neurite elongation from olfactory bulb explants. Together, these data suggest that β-netrin is important in neural, kidney, and vascular development.

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          Most cited references 48

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          dbEST--database for "expressed sequence tags".

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            Identification of prokaryotic and eukaryotic signal peptides and prediction of their cleavage sites.

            We have developed a new method for the identification of signal peptides and their cleavage sites based on neural networks trained on separate sets of prokaryotic and eukaryotic sequence. The method performs significantly better than previous prediction schemes and can easily be applied on genome-wide data sets. Discrimination between cleaved signal peptides and uncleaved N-terminal signal-anchor sequences is also possible, though with lower precision. Predictions can be made on a publicly available WWW server.
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              Molecular distinction and angiogenic interaction between embryonic arteries and veins revealed by ephrin-B2 and its receptor Eph-B4.

              The vertebrate circulatory system is composed of arteries and veins. The functional and pathological differences between these vessels have been assumed to reflect physiological differences such as oxygenation and blood pressure. Here we show that ephrin-B2, an Eph family transmembrane ligand, marks arterial but not venous endothelial cells from the onset of angiogenesis. Conversely, Eph-B4, a receptor for ephrin-B2, marks veins but not arteries. ephrin-B2 knockout mice display defects in angiogenesis by both arteries and veins in the capillary networks of the head and yolk sac as well as in myocardial trabeculation. These results provide evidence that differences between arteries and veins are in part genetically determined and suggest that reciprocal signaling between these two types of vessels is crucial for morphogenesis of the capillary beds.

                Author and article information

                J Cell Biol
                The Journal of Cell Biology
                The Rockefeller University Press
                16 October 2000
                : 151
                : 2
                : 221-234
                [a ]Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129
                [b ]Department of Neuroscience, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111
                [c ]Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111
                [d ]Department of Ophthalmology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111
                [e ]Department of Biology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467
                [f ]Shriners Hospital for Children, Portland, Oregon 97201
                © 2000 The Rockefeller University Press
                Original Article

                Cell biology

                vasculature, axon guidance, olfactory bulb, brain, kidney


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