Patterning defects in the primary axonal scaffolds caused by the mutations of the extradenticle and homothorax genes in the embryonic Drosophila brain

T Nagao, K Endo, H Kawauchi, U Walldorf, K Furukubo-Tokunaga
Development Genes and Evolution 2000, 210 (6): 289-99
During early brain development in Drosophila a highly stereotyped pattern of axonal scaffolds evolves by precise pioneering and selective fasciculation of neural fibers in the newly formed brain neuromeres. Using an axonal marker, Fasciclin II, we show that the activities of the extradenticle (exd) and homothorax (hth) genes are essential to this axonal patterning in the embryonic brain. Both genes are expressed in the developing brain neurons, including many of the tract founder cluster cells. Consistent with their expression profiles, mutations of exd and hth strongly perturb the primary axonal scaffolds. Furthermore, we show that mutations of exd and hth result in profound patterning defects of the developing brain at the molecular level including stimulation of the orthodenticle gene and suppression of the empty spiracles and cervical homeotic genes. In addition, expression of a Drosophila Pax6 gene, eyeless, is significantly suppressed in the mutants except for the most anterior region. These results reveal that, in addition to their homeotic regulatory functions in trunk development, exd and hth have important roles in patterning the developing brain through coordinately regulating various nuclear regulatory genes, and imply molecular commonalities between the developmental mechanisms of the brain and trunk segments, which were conventionally considered to be largely independent.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"