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Development. 2004 Nov;131(22):5695-702.

Spalt transcription factors are required for R3/R4 specification and establishment of planar cell polarity in the Drosophila eye.

Author information

  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Strang Laboratory of Cancer Research, The Rockefeller University, Box 252, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.

Abstract

The establishment of planar cell polarity in the Drosophila eye requires correct specification of the R3/R4 pair of photoreceptor cells. In response to a polarizing factor, Frizzled signaling specifies R3 and induces Delta, which activates Notch in the neighboring cell, specifying it as R4. Here, we show that the spalt zinc-finger transcription factors (spalt major and spalt-related) are part of the molecular mechanisms regulating R3/R4 specification and planar cell polarity establishment. In mosaic analysis, we find that the spalt genes are specifically required in R3 for the establishment of correct ommatidial polarity. In addition, we show that spalt genes are required for proper localization of Flamingo in the equatorial side of R3 and R4, and for the upregulation of Delta in R3. These requirements are very similar to those of frizzled during R3/R4 specification. We show that spalt genes are required cell-autonomously for the expression of seven-up in R3 and R4, and that seven-up is downstream of spalt genes in the genetic hierarchy of R3/R4 specification. Thus, spalt and seven-up are necessary for the correct interpretation of the Frizzled-mediated polarity signal in R3. Finally, we show that, posterior to row seven, seven-up represses spalt in R3/R4 in order to maintain the R3/R4 identity and to inhibit the transformation of these cells to the R7 cell fate.

PMID:
15509769
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1166349
Free PMC Article

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