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Cell. 2000 Aug 4;102(3):349-62.

Senseless, a Zn finger transcription factor, is necessary and sufficient for sensory organ development in Drosophila.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
Baylor Coll Med, Houston, TX


The senseless (sens) gene is required for proper development of most cell types of the embryonic and adult peripheral nervous system (PNS) of Drosophila. Sens is a nuclear protein with four Zn fingers that is expressed and required in the sensory organ precursors (SOP) for proper proneural gene expression. Ectopic expression of Sens in many ectodermal cells causes induction of PNS external sensory organ formation and is able to recreate an ectopic proneural field. Hence, sens is both necessary and sufficient for PNS development. Our data indicate that proneural genes activate sens expression. Sens is then in turn required to further activate and maintain proneural gene expression. This feedback mechanism is essential for selective enhancement and maintenance of proneural gene expression in the SOPs.

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