Axon guidance requires interactions between extracellular signaling molecules and transmembrane receptors, but how appropriate context-dependent decisions are coordinated outside the cell remains unclear. Here we show that the transmembrane glycoprotein Dystroglycan interacts with a changing set of environmental cues that regulate the trajectories of extending axons throughout the mammalian brain and spinal cord. Dystroglycan operates primarily as an extracellular scaffold during axon guidance, as it functions non-cell autonomously and does not require signaling through its intracellular domain. We identify the transmembrane receptor Celsr3/Adgrc3 as a binding partner for Dystroglycan, and show that this interaction is critical for specific axon guidance events in vivo. These findings establish Dystroglycan as a multifunctional scaffold that coordinates extracellular matrix proteins, secreted cues, and transmembrane receptors to regulate axon guidance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)