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EMBO J. 1996 Dec 2;15(23):6394-9.

Control of neural precursor specification by proneural proteins in the CNS of Drosophila.

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Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CSIC-UAM), Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain.


Formation of neural precursors in Drosophila is determined by proneural genes. The distinctive pattern of expression of some genes of the achaete-scute complex in the embryonic neuroectoderm has prompted the speculation that they could also function in the specification of neural precursor identity in the CNS. To test this hypothesis, we have analysed the capacity of different proneural proteins to promote the development of a particular CNS precursor, the MP2 precursor. Our results indicate that: (i) all known proneural proteins are similarly able to support the formation of a neural precursor at the position of MP2; (ii) different proneural proteins promote the expression of different characteristics of MP2; and (iii) a totally normal specification of the MP2 fate can only be attained by the proneural genes achaete or scute.

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