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EMBO J. 2006 Jul 12;25(13):3191-202. Epub 2006 Jun 8.

An NRSF/REST-like repressor downstream of Ebi/SMRTER/Su(H) regulates eye development in Drosophila.

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Morphogenetic Signaling Group, Riken Center for Developmental Biology, Minatojima-Minamimachi, Kobe, Japan.


The corepressor complex that includes Ebi and SMRTER is a target of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and Notch signaling pathways and regulates Delta (Dl)-mediated induction of support cells adjacent to photoreceptor neurons of the Drosophila eye. We describe a mechanism by which the Ebi/SMRTER corepressor complex maintains Dl expression. We identified a gene, charlatan (chn), which encodes a C2H2-type zinc-finger protein resembling human neuronal restricted silencing factor/repressor element RE-1 silencing transcription factor (NRSF/REST). The Ebi/SMRTER corepressor complex represses chn transcription by competing with the activation complex that includes the Notch intracellular domain (NICD). Chn represses Dl expression and is critical for the initiation of eye development. Thus, under EGF signaling, double negative regulation mediated by the Ebi/SMRTER corepressor complex and an NRSF/REST-like factor, Chn, maintains inductive activity in developing photoreceptor cells by promoting Dl expression.

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