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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e60091. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060091. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Wengen, the sole tumour necrosis factor receptor in Drosophila, collaborates with moesin to control photoreceptor axon targeting during development.

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Centre for Neuronal Survival, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Photoreceptor neurons (R cells) in the Drosophila eye define a map of visual space by connecting to targets in distinct layers of the optic lobe, with R1-6 cells connecting to the lamina (the first optic ganglion) and R7 and R8 cells connecting to the medulla (the second optic ganglion). Here, we show that Wengen (Wgn) directly binds Moesin (Moe) through a cytosolic membrane proximal domain and this interaction is important for mediating two distinct aspects of axonal targeting. First, we show that loss of wgn or moe function disrupts cell autonomous R8 axon targeting. Second, we report that wgn or moe mutants show defects in R2-R5 targeting that result from disruption of non-cell autonomous effects, which are secondary to the cell autonomous R8 phenotype. Thus, these studies reveal that the Wgn-Moe signaling cascade plays a key role in photoreceptor target field innervations through cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms.

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