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A small family of proteins homologous to the Drosophila protein (slit) that plays an important part in morphogenesis of the central nervous system. They are diffusible chemorepellants and both slit1 (1534 aa) and slit2 (1529 aa) are inhibitors of retinal axon growth and of spinal axons. Slit genes are expressed in the ventral midline and prevent axons from crossing between hemispheres. Slit3 (1532 aa) is expressed more strongly in peripheral tissues, particularly thyroid, than in the central nervous system. The receptor is robo (roundabout) and is expressed on the nerve growth cone.

Subjects: Medicine and Health — Chemistry.

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