Send to

Choose Destination
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;786:79-102. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-6621-1_6.

Mechanisms of asymmetric progenitor divisions in the Drosophila central nervous system.

Author information

MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King's College London, New Hunt's House, London, SE1 1UL, UK.


The Drosophila central nervous system develops from polarised asymmetric divisions of precursor cells, called neuroblasts. Decades of research on neuroblasts have resulted in a substantial understanding of the factors and molecular events responsible for fate decisions of neuroblasts and their progeny. Furthermore, the cell-cycle dependent mechanisms responsible for asymmetric cortical protein localisation, resulting in the unequal partitioning between daughters, are beginning to be exposed. Disruption to the appropriate partitioning of proteins between neuroblasts and differentiation-committed daughters can lead to supernumerary neuroblast-like cells and the formation of tumours. Many of the factors responsible for regulating asymmetric division of Drosophila neuroblasts are evolutionarily conserved and, in many cases, have been shown to play a functionally conserved role in mammalian neurogenesis. Recent genome-wide studies coupled with advancements in live-imaging technologies have opened further avenues of research into neuroblast biology. We review our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating neuroblast divisions, a powerful system to model mammalian neurogenesis and tumourigenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center