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Nat Neurosci. 2004 Aug;7(8):819-25. Epub 2004 Jul 11.

Olfactory receptor neuron axon targeting: intrinsic transcriptional control and hierarchical interactions.

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


From insects to mammals, olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) expressing a common olfactory receptor target their axons to specific glomeruli with high precision. Here we show in Drosophila that the POU transcription factor Acj6 controls the axon targeting specificity of a subset of ORN classes, as defined by the olfactory receptors that they express. Of these classes, some require Acj6 cell-autonomously, whereas others require Acj6 cell-nonautonomously. Mosaic analyses show that cooperative targeting occurs between axon terminals of the same ORN classes and that there are hierarchical interactions among different ORN classes. We propose that the precision of ORN axon targeting derives from both intrinsic transcriptional control and extensive axon-axon interactions.

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