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Dev Biol. 2004 Apr 15;268(2):481-92.

The role of the T-box gene optomotor-blind in patterning the Drosophila wing.

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Centro de Biología Molecular-C.S.I.C, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid-Cantoblanco, Madrid E-28049, Spain.


The development of the Drosophila wing is governed by the action of two morphogens encoded by the genes decapentaplegic (dpp; a member of the BMP gene family) and wingless (wg; a member of the WNT gene family), which promote cell proliferation and pattern the wing. Along the anterior/posterior (A/P) axis, the precise expression of decapentaplegic and its receptors is required for the transcriptional regulation of specific target genes. In the present work, we analyze the function of the T-box gene optomotor-blind (omb), a decapentaplegic target gene. The wings of optomotor-blind mutants have two apparently opposite phenotypes: the central wing is severely reduced and shows massive cell death, mainly in the distal-most wing, and the lateral wing shows extra cell proliferation. Here, we present genetic evidence that optomotor-blind is required to establish the graded expression of the decapentaplegic type I receptor encoded by the gene thick veins (tkv) to repress the expression of the gene master of thick veins and also to activate the expression of spalt (sal) and vestigial (vg), two decapentaplegic target genes. optomotor-blind plays a role in wing development downstream of decapentaplegic by controlling the expression of its receptor thick veins and by mediating the activation of target genes required for the correct development of the wing. The lack of optomotor-blind produces massive cell death in its expression domain, which leads to the mis-activation of the Notch pathway and the overproliferation of lateral wing cells.

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