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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Sep 28;101(39):14276-81. Epub 2004 Sep 16.

Identification of mushroom body miniature, a zinc-finger protein implicated in brain development of Drosophila.

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Institut für Medizinische Strahlenkunde und Zellforschung, University of Würzburg, Versbacherstrasse 5, D-97078 Würzburg, Germany.


The mushroom bodies are bilaterally arranged structures in the protocerebrum of Drosophila and most other insect species. Mutants with altered mushroom body structure have been instrumental not only in establishing their role in distinct behavioral functions but also in identifying the molecular pathways that control mushroom body development. The mushroom body miniature(1) (mbm(1)) mutation results in grossly reduced mushroom bodies and odor learning deficits in females. With a survey of genomic rescue constructs, we have pinpointed mbm(1) to a single transcription unit and identified a single nucleotide exchange in the 5' untranslated region of the corresponding transcript resulting in a reduced expression of the protein. The most obvious feature of the Mbm protein is a pair of C(2)HC zinc fingers, implicating a function of the protein in binding nucleic acids. Immunohistochemical analysis shows that expression of the Mbm protein is not restricted to the mushroom bodies. BrdUrd labeling experiments indicate a function of Mbm in neuronal precursor cell proliferation.

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