Sino Biological provides a comprehensive set of tools for research on axon guidance, including recombinant proteins, antibodies, ELISA kits, and cDNA clones.
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Axon guidance is the process by which axons extend to reach their correct targets. Axons often follow very precise paths in the nervous system, and axon guidance is important in neural development. Axons are guided along specific pathways by attractive and repulsive cues in the extracellular environment. At the growing tip of axons, a highly motile structure, called growth cone, contains receptors that recognize these guidance cues and activate various signaling molecules to regulate the cytoskeleton. Genetic and biochemical studies have led to the identification of highly conserved families of guidance molecules, including Ephrins, Netrins, Semaphorins and Slits. Netrins can act as attractants or repellents; Slits, semaphorins, and ephrins act primarily as repellents but can be attractive or adhesive in some contexts. In addition, many other guidance factors have been identified: neurotrophins, TGF-beta family members, BMPs, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) factor, and additional candidate receptors include the protocadherin family, immunoglobulin family cell adhesion molecules (Ig-CAMs), neurexins, and odorant receptors. Guidance cues steer axons by regulating cytoskeletal dynamics in the growth cone through signaling pathways that are still not well understood. Furthermore, the existence of combinatorial signaling mechanisms is a fascinating aspect of axon guidance. The regulatory mechanisms may involve transcriptional regulation, regulated ligand cleavage, and more.