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Dev Cell. 2013 Dec 9;27(5):530-44. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.10.024. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Sensory-neuron subtype-specific transcriptional programs controlling dendrite morphogenesis: genome-wide analysis of Abrupt and Knot/Collier.

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Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.
Kobayashi-Maskawa Institute, Nagoya University, Aichi 464-8602, Japan; Graduate School of Mathematics, Nagoya University, Aichi 464-8602, Japan.
Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kanagawa 226-8501, Japan.
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.
Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan. Electronic address:


The transcription factors Abrupt (Ab) and Knot (Kn) act as selectors of distinct dendritic arbor morphologies in two classes of Drosophila sensory neurons, termed class I and class IV, respectively. We performed binding-site mapping and transcriptional profiling of these isolated neurons. Their profiles were similarly enriched in cell-type-specific enhancers of genes implicated in neural development. We identified a total of 429 target genes, of which 56 were common to Ab and Kn; these targets included genes necessary to shape dendritic arbors in either or both of the two sensory subtypes. Furthermore, a common target gene, encoding the cell adhesion molecule Ten-m, was expressed more strongly in class I than class IV, and this differential was critical to the class-selective directional control of dendritic branch sprouting or extension. Our analyses illustrate how differentiating neurons employ distinct and shared repertoires of gene expression to produce class-selective morphological traits.

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