Genome-wide identification of Drosophila Hb9 targets reveals a pivotal role in directing the transcriptome within eight neuronal lineages, including activation of Nitric oxide synthase and Fd59a/Fox-D

Haluk Lacin, Jannette Rusch, Raymond T. Yeh, Miki Fujioka, Beth A. Wilson, Yi Zhu, Alice A. Robie, Hemlata Mistry, Ting Wang, James B. Jaynes, James B. Skeath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hb9 is a homeodomain-containing transcription factor that acts in combination with Nkx6, Lim3, and Tail-up (Islet) to guide the stereotyped differentiation, connectivity, and function of a subset of neurons in Drosophila. The role of Hb9 in directing neuronal differentiation is well documented, but the lineage of Hb9+ neurons is only partly characterized, its regulation is poorly understood, and most of the downstream genes through which it acts remain at large. Here, we complete the lineage tracing of all embryonic Hb9+ neurons (to eight neuronal lineages) and provide evidence that hb9, lim3, and tail-up are coordinately regulated by a common set of upstream factors. Through the parallel use of micro-array gene expression profiling and the Dam-ID method, we searched for Hb9-regulated genes, uncovering transcription factors as the most over-represented class of genes regulated by Hb9 (and Nkx6) in the CNS. By a nearly ten-to-one ratio, Hb9 represses rather than activates transcription factors, highlighting transcriptional repression of other transcription factors as a core mechanism by which Hb9 governs neuronal determination. From the small set of genes activated by Hb9, we characterized the expression and function of two - fd59a/foxd, which encodes a transcription factor, and Nitric oxide synthase. Under standard lab conditions, both genes are dispensable for Drosophila development, but Nos appears to inhibit hyper-active behavior and fd59a appears to act in octopaminergic neurons to control egg-laying behavior. Together our data clarify the mechanisms through which Hb9 governs neuronal specification and differentiation and provide an initial characterization of the expression and function of Nos and fd59a in the Drosophila CNS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-133
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume388
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • FoxD/fd59a
  • Hb9
  • Neurogenesis
  • Nitric oxide synthase

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