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Genes Dev. 1999 Jul 1;13(13):1754-61.

The Iroquois homeodomain proteins are required to specify body wall identity in Drosophila.

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  • 1Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Universidad Antónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


The Iroquois complex (Iro-C) homeodomain proteins allow cells at the proximal part of the Drosophila imaginal wing disc to form mesothoracic body wall (notum). Cells lacking these proteins form wing hinge structures instead (tegula and axillary sclerites). Moreover, the mutant cells impose on neighboring wild-type cells more distal developmental fates, like lateral notum or wing hinge. These findings support a tergal phylogenetic origin for the most proximal part of the wing and provide evidence for a novel pattern organizing center at the border between the apposed notum (Iro-C-expressing) and hinge (Iro-C-nonexpressing) cells. This border is not a cell lineage restriction boundary.

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