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Genetics. 1992 Oct;132(2):481-503.

The Enhancer of split complex and adjacent genes in the 96F region of Drosophila melanogaster are required for segregation of neural and epidermal progenitor cells.

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Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie, Universität zu Köln, Germany.


The Enhancer of split complex [E(spl)-C] of Drosophila melanogaster is located in the 96F region of the third chromosome and comprises at least seven structurally related genes, HLH-m delta, HLH-m gamma, HLH-m beta, HLH-m3, HLH-m5, HLH-m7 and E(spl). The functions of these genes are required during early neurogenesis to give neuroectodermal cells access to the epidermal pathway of development. Another gene in the 96F region, namely groucho, is also required for this process. However, groucho is not structurally related to, and appears to act independently of, the genes of the E(spl)-C; the possibility is discussed that groucho acts upstream to the E(spl)-C genes. Indirect evidence suggests that a neighboring transcription unit (m4) may also take part in the process. Of all these genes, only gro is essential; m4 is a dispensable gene, the deletion of which does not produce detectable morphogenetic abnormalities, and the genes of the E(spl)-C are to some extent redundant and can partially substitute for each other. This redundancy is probably due to the fact that the seven genes of the E(spl)-C encode highly conserved putative DNA-binding proteins of the bHLH family. The genes of the complex are interspersed among other genes which appear to be unrelated to the neuroepidermal lineage dichotomy.

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