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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2001 Dec;12(6):469-74.

Eye specification in Drosophila: perspectives and implications.

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Department of Cell Biology, Emory University School of Medicine, 1648 Pierce Drive BE, Atlanta, GA 30322-3030, USA.


The discovery that Drosophila eyeless is homologous to vertebrate Pax6 produced enormous interest in eye specification and a reappraisal of eye evolution. While the transcription factor Eyeless/Pax6 is necessary and in some circumstances sufficient to induce eye development the simple story of eye specification has become more epic than haiku. At least seven other nuclear proteins act with Eyeless/Pax6 to induce the eye and, furthermore, extrinsic developmental signals are required. Some striking similarities between later events of retinal patterning in vertebrates and insects have led to a deeper debate on the evolutionary path to these apparently quite different organs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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