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Development. 2010 Jan;137(1):53-61. doi: 10.1242/dev.041749.

Role of Notch signaling in establishing the hemilineages of secondary neurons in Drosophila melanogaster.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Box 351800, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

Abstract

The secondary neurons generated in the thoracic central nervous system of Drosophila arise from a hemisegmental set of 25 neuronal stem cells, the neuroblasts (NBs). Each NB undergoes repeated asymmetric divisions to produce a series of smaller ganglion mother cells (GMCs), which typically divide once to form two daughter neurons. We find that the two daughters of the GMC consistently have distinct fates. Using both loss-of-function and gain-of-function approaches, we examined the role of Notch signaling in establishing neuronal fates within all of the thoracic secondary lineages. In all cases, the 'A' (Notch(ON)) sibling assumes one fate and the 'B' (Notch(OFF)) sibling assumes another, and this relationship holds throughout the neurogenic period, resulting in two major neuronal classes: the A and B hemilineages. Apparent monotypic lineages typically result from the death of one sibling throughout the lineage, resulting in a single, surviving hemilineage. Projection neurons are predominantly from the B hemilineages, whereas local interneurons are typically from A hemilineages. Although sibling fate is dependent on Notch signaling, it is not necessarily dependent on numb, a gene classically involved in biasing Notch activation. When Numb was removed at the start of larval neurogenesis, both A and B hemilineages were still generated, but by the start of the third larval instar, the removal of Numb resulted in all neurons assuming the A fate. The need for Numb to direct Notch signaling correlated with a decrease in NB cell cycle time and may be a means for coping with multiple sibling pairs simultaneously undergoing fate decisions.

PMID:
20023160
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2796924
Free PMC Article

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