Our molecular understanding of brain wiring has mostly concerned proteins implicated in axon guidance and large-scale dendritic-arborization development. In a pair of papers published this week, Liqun Luo and colleagues now show that two members of the Teneurin family of large transmembrane proteins control the final steps of neuronal targeting. The papers, which focus on the Drosophila olfactory systems and neuromuscular junctions respectively, indicate that Teneurins interact homophilically across the synaptic cleft to ensure proper matching among developing neurons.
- Teneurins instruct synaptic partner matching in an olfactory map (Article p201, doi: 10.1038/nature10926)
- Trans-synaptic Teneurin signalling in neuromuscular synapse organization and target choice (Letter p237, doi: 10.1038/nature10923)
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