Figure 1. Notch plays two major roles during nervous system development in Drosophila.

Figure 1

Notch plays two major roles during nervous system development in Drosophila. A) Role of Notch during lateral inhibition in the neuroectoderm. B) Role of Notch during binary cell fate specification in postmitotic cells. A) Notch signaling represses the neural fate in epidermoblasts. As a consequence, cells with active Notch signaling develop an epidermal fate. On the molecular level, this is achieved through the repression of the proneural genes. Proneural genes are activated in the neuroectodermal cells lacking Notch signaling and as a result such cells become neuroblasts. Neuroblasts are the neural stem cell equivalent of the fly and produce the entire nervous system in a lineage dependent manner. B) The terminal division of individual GMCs leads to two distinct cell identities, here termed fate A and fate B. One of these fates strictly requires Notch signaling for its correct specification whereas the other sibling only develops correctly in the absence of functional Notch signaling. The concept of Notch as a crucial discriminator of binary sibling cell fates seems to apply during embryonic as well as postembryonic neurogenesis in Drosophila.

From: NOTCH SIGNALING AND THE GENERATION OF CELL DIVERSITY IN DROSOPHILA NEUROBLAST LINEAGES

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