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Neuron. 2000 Jan;25(1):57-67.

The proneural gene amos promotes multiple dendritic neuron formation in the Drosophila peripheral nervous system.

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Institute of Neuroscience, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.


In the Drosophila peripheral nervous system, proneural genes direct the formation of different types of sensory organs. Here, we show that amos is a novel proneural gene that promotes multiple dendritic (MD) neuron formation. amos encodes a basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein of the Atonal family. During embryonic development, amos is expressed in patches of ectodermal cells, and the expression is quickly restricted to sensory organ precursors. Loss of amos function eliminates MD neurons that remain in ASC;atonal mutants. Misexpression of amos generates ectopic MD and other types of neurons. Amos interacts with the ubiquitously expressed Daughter-less protein in vivo and in vitro. Our final misexpression experiments suggest that a domain located outside the DNA-binding domain of Amos determines the MD neuronal specificity.

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