Rao, Y (reprint author), Washington Univ, Sch Med, Dept Anat & Neurobiol, Box 8108,660 S Euclid Ave, St Louis, MO 63110 USA,
The slit genes have recently been found to encode proteins with a conserved chemorepulsive activity for axons in invertebrates and vertebrates. We have determined the expression pattern of a slit gene in Xenopus embryos. In the neural tube, slit is expressed at the ventral and dorsal midlines, and the motor neurons. slit is also expressed in a changing pattern in the retina. The full-length Xenopus Slit protein is secreted extracellularly, whereas its receptor Roundabout can not be secreted. Using a myc-tagged secreted Slit protein, we confirmed the binding of Slit to Roundabout expressed on the cell surface. These results confirm Slit-Roundabout interactions and the biochemical properties of Slit and Roundabout proteins, and further support the idea that Slit may guide axon projections in multiple regions of the embryo. (C) 2000 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.