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Mech Dev. 2001 May;103(1-2):71-8.

Differential expression and function of the Drosophila Pax6 genes eyeless and twin of eyeless in embryonic central nervous system development.

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Institute of Zoology, Biocenter/Pharmacenter, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


We analyzed the expression and function of eyeless (ey) and twin of eyeless (toy) in the embryonic central nervous system (CNS) of Drosophila. Both genes are differentially expressed in specific neuronal subsets (but not in glia) in every CNS neuromere, and in the brain, specific cell populations co-expressing both proteins define a longitudinal domain which is intercalated between broad exclusive expression domains of ey and toy. Studies of genetic null alleles and dsRNA interference did not reveal any gross neuroanatomical effects of ey, toy, or ey/toy elimination in the embryonic CNS. In contrast, targeted misexpression of ey, but not of toy, resulted in profound axonal abnormalities in the embryonic ventral nerve cord and brain.

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