The transmembrane protein Off-track associates with Plexins and functions downstream of Semaphorin signaling during axon guidance.
The Plexin family of transmembrane proteins appears to function as repulsive receptors for most if not all Semaphorins. Here, we use genetic and biochemical analysis in Drosophila to show that the transmembrane protein Off-track (OTK) associates with Plexin A, the receptor for Sema 1a, and that OTK is a component of the repulsive signaling response to Semaphorin ligands. In vitro, OTK associates with Plexins. In vivo, mutations in the otk gene lead to phenotypes resembling those of loss-of-function mutations of either Sema1a or PlexA. The otk gene displays strong genetic interactions with Sema1a and PlexA, suggesting that OTK and Plexin A function downstream of Sema 1a.