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Development. 2019 Apr 5;146(7). pii: dev175570. doi: 10.1242/dev.175570.

The Hunchback temporal transcription factor determines motor neuron axon and dendrite targeting in Drosophila.

Author information

1
Institute of Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA.
2
Institute of Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA cdoe@uoregon.edu.

Abstract

The generation of neuronal diversity is essential for circuit formation and behavior. Morphological differences in sequentially born neurons could be due to intrinsic molecular identity specified by temporal transcription factors (henceforth called intrinsic temporal identity) or due to changing extrinsic cues. Here, we have used the Drosophila NB7-1 lineage to address this issue. NB7-1 generates the U1-U5 motor neurons sequentially; each has a distinct intrinsic temporal identity due to inheritance of different temporal transcription factors at its time of birth. We show that the U1-U5 neurons project axons sequentially, followed by sequential dendrite extension. We misexpressed the earliest temporal transcription factor, Hunchback, to create 'ectopic' U1 neurons with an early intrinsic temporal identity but later birth-order. These ectopic U1 neurons have axon muscle targeting and dendrite neuropil targeting that are consistent with U1 intrinsic temporal identity, rather than with their time of birth or differentiation. We conclude that intrinsic temporal identity plays a major role in establishing both motor axon muscle targeting and dendritic arbor targeting, which are required for proper motor circuit development.

KEYWORDS:

Dendrite morphology; Heterochronic; Hunchback; Larval locomotion; Motor circuits; Motor neuron; Neural circuits; Temporal identity; Temporal transcription factors

PMID:
30890568
PMCID:
PMC6467472
DOI:
10.1242/dev.175570
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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