Turning of retinal growth cones in a netrin-1 gradient mediated by the netrin receptor DCC

Neuron. 1997 Dec;19(6):1211-24. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80413-4.


Netrin-1 promotes outgrowth of axons in vitro through the receptor Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC) and elicits turning of axons within embryonic explants when presented as a point source. It is not known whether netrin-1 alone can elicit turning nor whether DCC mediates the turning response. We show that Xenopus retinal ganglion cell growth cones orient rapidly toward a pipette ejecting netrin-1, an effect blocked by antibodies to DCC. In vitro, netrin-1 induces a complex growth cone morphology reminiscent of that at the optic nerve head, a site of netrin-1 expression in vivo. These results demonstrate that netrin-1 can function alone to induce turning, implicate DCC in this response, and support the idea that netrin-1 contributes to steering axons out of the retina.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / pharmacology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology*
  • Cell Polarity
  • DCC Receptor
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Growth Factors / biosynthesis
  • Nerve Growth Factors / pharmacology*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Netrin Receptors
  • Netrin-1
  • Neurites / drug effects
  • Neurites / physiology
  • Neurites / ultrastructure
  • Optic Nerve / embryology
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Retina / embryology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / drug effects
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins*
  • Xenopus


  • Antibodies
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • DCC Receptor
  • DCC protein, human
  • NTN1 protein, human
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Netrin Receptors
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Netrin-1

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF033341