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Dev Biol. 2005 Feb 15;278(2):265-73.

Transcriptional control of glial cell development in Drosophila.

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Department of Biology, The University of Mississippi, 122 Shoemaker Hall, University, MS 38677, USA.


Neurons and glia are generated from multipotent neural progenitors. In Drosophila, the transcriptional regulation of glial vs. neuronal fates is controlled by the expression of the transcription factor encoded by the glial cells missing gene (gcm) in multiple neural lineages. The cis-regulatory control of gcm transcription serves as a nodal point to translate a complex array of spatially and temporally regulated transcription factors in distinct neural lineages into glial-specific expression. Gcm acts synergistically with several downstream transcription factors to initiate and maintain glial-specific gene expression. The identification of a large set of glial-specific genes through the application of computational and whole genome tools provides the opportunity to analyze the transcriptional regulation of glial cell development at the genomic level in a relatively simple genetic model system.

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