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(Science: protein) genes identified in studies of vertebrate neuronal development. Netrins are chemotropic for embryonic commisural neurones: netrin 1 is secreted by the floorplate, whereas netrin 2 is distributed ventrally except for the floorplate. The netrins are homologous to the product of unc 6, a gene identified in studies of neuronal development of the worm, caenorhabditis elegans.