Previous studies showed that grasshopper semaphorin I, a transmembrane semaphorin, functions in vivo to steer a pair of growth cones, prevent defasciculation, and inhibit branching; and that chick collapsin, a secreted semaphorin, can function in vitro to cause growth cone collapse. Semaphorin 11, a secreted semaphorin in Drosophila, is transiently expressed by a single large muscle during motoneuron outgrowth and synapse formation. To test the in vivo function of semaphorin 11, we created transgenic Drosophila that generate ectopic semaphorin 11 expression by muscles that normally do not express it. The results show that semaphorin II can function in vivo as a selective target-derived signal that inhibits the formation of specific synaptic terminal arbors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
for helpful discussions and critical reading of the manuscript. We thank Sophia Colamarino and Marc Tassier-Lavigne for sharing their results prior to publication and Marc Tessier-Lavigne for critical reading of the manuscript. D. J. M. and A. L. K. were supported by National Institutes of Health grant HD21294. H. S. is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation. C. S. G. is an Investigator with the HHMI.