Regulators acting in combinatorial codes also act independently in single differentiating neurons

Douglas W. Allan, Dongkook Park, Susan E. St. Pierre, Paul H. Taghert, Stefan Thor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the Drosophila ventral nerve cord, a small number of neurons express the LIM-homeodomain gene apterous (ap). These ap neurons can be subdivided based upon axon pathfinding and their expression of neuropeptidergic markers. ap, the zinc finger gene squeeze, the bHLH gene dimmed, and the BMP pathway are all required for proper specification of these cells. Here, using several ap neuron terminal differentiation markers, we have resolved how each of these factors contributes to ap neuron diversity. We find that these factors interact genetically and biochemically in subtype-specific combinatorial codes to determine certain defining aspects of ap neuron subtype identity. However, we also find that ap, dimmed, and squeeze additionally act independently of one another to specify certain other defining aspects of ap neuron subtype identity. Therefore, within single neurons, we show that single regulators acting in numerous molecular contexts differentially specify multiple subtype-specific traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-700
Number of pages12
JournalNeuron
Volume45
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 2005

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