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Cell. 2004 Oct 15;119(2):245-56.

Control of dendritic branching and tiling by the Tricornered-kinase/Furry signaling pathway in Drosophila sensory neurons.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, University of California San Francisco, 1550 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


To cover the receptive field completely but without redundancy, neurons of certain functional groups exhibit tiling of their dendrites via dendritic repulsion. Here we show that two evolutionarily conserved proteins, the Tricornered (Trc) kinase and Furry (Fry), are essential for tiling and branching control of Drosophila sensory neuron dendrites. Dendrites of fry and trc mutants display excessive terminal branching and fail to avoid homologous dendritic branches, resulting in significant overlap of the dendritic fields. Trc control of dendritic branching involves regulation of RacGTPase, a pathway distinct from the action of Trc in tiling. Timelapse analysis further reveals a specific loss of the ability of growing dendrites to turn away from nearby dendritic branches in fry mutants, suggestive of a defect in like-repels-like avoidance. Thus, the Trc/Fry signaling pathway plays a key role in patterning dendritic fields by promoting avoidance between homologous dendrites as well as by limiting dendritic branching.

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