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Mech Dev. 2001 Jul;105(1-2):115-27.

Spatial regulation of DELTA expression mediates NOTCH signalling for segmentation of Drosophila legs.

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Drosophila Stock Center, School of Life Sciences, Vigyan Bhawan, Devi Ahilya University, Khandwa Road Campus, 452 017, Indore, India.


The Notch (N) signalling pathway is recruited for segregation of cell fates in a number of Drosophila tissue types. We show here that N dependent segmentation of Drosophila legs is regulated by a dynamic pattern of expression of its ligand, DELTA (DL). During third larval instar and early stages of pupation, high levels of DL expression is seen in stripes of cells in the leg imaginal discs which later form the proximal borders of leg joints. These domains also displayed heightened Dl enhancer activity. During subsequent stages of pupation, following segmentation of the leg primordium, DL expression becomes uniform throughout these segments barring the joints. We further show that regulatory Dl mutations or mis-expression of DL abolish leg segmentation. Domains of N signalling for segmentation of legs of flies are thus set up by a stringent spatial regulation of expression of its ligand at the segment border. Further, a comparable role of DL in antennal development reveals a common paradigm of DL-N signalling for segmentation of appendages in flies.

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