Neuropilin is a semaphorin III receptor.
(Johns Hopkins University and School of Medicine)
Cell. 1997 Aug 22. 90(4):753-62.
The semaphorin family contains a large number of phylogenetically conserved proteins and includes several members that have been shown to function in repulsive axon guidance. Semaphorin III (Sema III) is a secreted protein that in vitro causes neuronal growth cone collapse and chemorepulsion of neurites, and in vivo is required for correct sensory afferent innervation and other aspects of development. The mechanism of Sema III function, however, is unknown. Here, we report that neuropilin, a type I transmembrane protein implicated in aspects of neurodevelopment, is a Sema III receptor. We also describe the identification of neuropilin-2, a related neuropilin family member, and show that neuropilin and neuropilin-2 are expressed in overlapping, yet distinct, populations of neurons in the rat embryonic nervous system.