Coevolution of axon guidance molecule Slit and its receptor Robo

Q. Yu, X.T. Li, X. Zhao, X.L. Liu, K. Ikeo, T. Gojobori, Q.X. Liu
PLoS One, 9(5):e94970, (2014)


Coevolution, Axon guidance, Molecule Slit, Receptor Robo


​Coevolution is important for the maintenance of the interaction between a ligand and its receptor during evolution. The interaction between axon guidance molecule Slit and its receptor Robo is critical for the axon repulsion in neural tissues, which is evolutionarily conserved from planarians to humans. However, the mechanism of coevolution between Slit and Robo remains unclear. In this study, we found that coordinated amino acid changes took place at interacting sites of Slit and Robo by comparing the amino acids at these sites among different organisms. In addition, the high level correlation between evolutionary rate of Slit and Robo was identified in vertebrates. Furthermore, the sites under positive selection of slit and robo were detected in the same lineage such as mosquito and teleost. Overall, our results provide evidence for the coevolution between Slit and Robo.


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094970


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