Slit is the midline repellent for the robo receptor in Drosophila

Cell. 1999 Mar 19;96(6):785-94. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80589-9.


Previous studies suggested that Roundabout (Robo) is a repulsive guidance receptor on growth cones that binds to an unknown midline ligand. Here we present genetic evidence that Slit is the midline Robo ligand; a companion paper presents biochemical evidence that Slit binds Robo. Slit is a large extracellular matrix protein expressed by midline glia. In slit mutants, growth cones enter the midline but never leave it; they abnormally continue to express high levels of Robo while at the midline. slit and robo display dosage-sensitive genetic interactions, indicating that they function in the same pathway. slit is also required for migration of muscle precursors away from the midline. Slit appears to function as a short-range repellent controlling axon crossing of the midline and as a long-range chemorepellent controlling mesoderm migration away from the midline.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Base Sequence
  • Body Patterning
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism*
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Ligands
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • roundabout protein
  • sli protein, Drosophila

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF126540