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Dev Biol. 1999 Jun 15;210(2):339-50.

Notch-mediated segmentation and growth control of the Drosophila leg.

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1
Waksman Institute and Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers, The State University, Piscataway, New Jersey, 08854, USA.

Abstract

The possession of segmented appendages is a defining characteristic of the arthropods. By analyzing both loss-of-function and ectopic expression experiments, we show that the Notch signaling pathway plays a fundamental role in the segmentation and growth of the Drosophila leg. Local activation of Notch is necessary and sufficient to promote the formation of joints between segments. This segmentation process requires the participation of the Notch ligands, Serrate and Delta, as well as Fringe. These three proteins are each expressed in the developing leg and antennal imaginal discs in a segmentally repeated pattern that is regulated downstream of the action of Wingless and Decapentaplegic. Our studies further show that Notch activation is both necessary and sufficient to promote leg growth. We also identify target genes regulated both positively and negatively downstream of Notch signaling that are required for normal leg development. Together, these observations outline a regulatory hierarchy for the segmentation and growth of the leg. The Notch pathway is also deployed for segmentation during vertebrate somitogenesis, which raises the possibility of a common origin for the segmentation of these distinct tissues.

PMID:
10357895
DOI:
10.1006/dbio.1999.9273
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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