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Development. 2006 Feb;133(3):429-37. Epub 2006 Jan 5.

Timing of identity: spatiotemporal regulation of hunchback in neuroblast lineages of Drosophila by Seven-up and Prospero.

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  • 1Institut für Genetik, Universität Mainz, Germany.

Abstract

Neural stem cells often generate different cell types in a fixed birth order as a result of temporal specification of the progenitors. In Drosophila, the first temporal identity of most neural stem cells (neuroblasts) in the embryonic ventral nerve cord is specified by the transient expression of the transcription factor Hunchback. When reaching the next temporal identity, this expression is switched off in the neuroblasts by seven up (svp) in a mitosis-dependent manner, but is maintained in their progeny (ganglion mother cells). We show that svp mRNA is already expressed in the neuroblasts before this division. After mitosis, Svp protein accumulates in both cells, but the downregulation of hunchback (hb) occurs only in the neuroblast. In the ganglion mother cell, svp is repressed by Prospero, a transcription factor asymmetrically localised to this cell during mitosis. Thus, the differential regulation of hb between the neuroblasts and the ganglion mother cells is achieved by a mechanism that integrates information created by the asymmetric distribution of a cell-fate determinant upon mitosis (Prospero) and a transcriptional repressor present in both cells (Seven-up). Strikingly, although the complete downregulation of hb is mitosis dependent, the lineage-specific timing of svp upregulation is not.

PMID:
16396905
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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