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Elife. 2019 Jul 22;8. pii: e46566. doi: 10.7554/eLife.46566.

The transcription factor odd-paired regulates temporal identity in transit-amplifying neural progenitors via an incoherent feed-forward loop.

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1
IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Science, Vienna Biocenter (VBC), Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Neural progenitors undergo temporal patterning to generate diverse neurons in a chronological order. This process is well-studied in the developing Drosophila brain and conserved in mammals. During larval stages, intermediate neural progenitors (INPs) serially express Dichaete (D), grainyhead (Grh) and eyeless (Ey/Pax6), but how the transitions are regulated is not precisely understood. Here, we developed a method to isolate transcriptomes of INPs in their distinct temporal states to identify a complete set of temporal patterning factors. Our analysis identifies odd-paired (opa), as a key regulator of temporal patterning. Temporal patterning is initiated when the SWI/SNF complex component Osa induces D and its repressor Opa at the same time but with distinct kinetics. Then, high Opa levels repress D to allow Grh transcription and progress to the next temporal state. We propose that Osa and its target genes opa and D form an incoherent feedforward loop (FFL) and a new mechanism allowing the successive expression of temporal identities.

KEYWORDS:

D. melanogaster; developmental biology; neural progenitor; neuroscience; temporal identity; transcription factors

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