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Cell. 2003 Jan 24;112(2):157-67.

From lineage to wiring specificity. POU domain transcription factors control precise connections of Drosophila olfactory projection neurons.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Neurosciences Program, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Axonal selection of synaptic partners is generally believed to determine wiring specificity in the nervous system. However, we have recently found evidence for specific dendritic targeting in the olfactory system of Drosophila: second order olfactory neurons (Projection Neurons) from the anterodorsal (adPN) and lateral (lPN) lineages send their dendrites to stereotypical, intercalating but non-overlapping glomeruli. Here we show that POU domain transcription factors, Acj6 and Drifter, are expressed in adPNs and lPNs respectively, and are required for their dendritic targeting. Moreover, misexpression of Acj6 in lPNs, or Drifter in adPNs, results in dendritic targeting to glomeruli normally reserved for the other PN lineage. Thus, Acj6 and Drifter translate PN lineage information into distinct dendritic targeting specificity. Acj6 also controls stereotypical axon terminal arborization of PNs in a central target, suggesting that the connectivity of PN axons and dendrites in different brain centers is coordinately regulated.

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