Identification of enhancers that drive the spatially restricted expression of vsx1 and rx in the outer proliferation center of the developing drosophila optic lobe

Ishrat Maliha Islam, June Ng, Priscilla Valentino, Ted Erclik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Combinatorial spatial and temporal patterning of stem cells is a powerful mechanism for the generation of neural diversity in insect and vertebrate nervous systems. In the developing Drosophila medulla, the neural stem cells of the outer proliferation center (OPC) are spatially patterned by the mutually exclusive expression of three homeobox transcription factors: Vsx1 in the center of the OPC crescent (cOPC), Optix in the main arms (mOPC), and Rx in the posterior tips (pOPC). These spatial factors act together with a temporal cascade of transcription factors in OPC neuroblasts to specify the greater than 80 medulla cell types. Here, we identify the enhancers that are sufficient to drive the spatially restricted expression of the Vsx1 and Rx genes in the OPC. We show that removal of the cOPC enhancer in the Muddled inversion mutant leads to the loss of Vsx1 expression in the cOPC. Analysis of the evolutionarily conserved sequences within these enhancers suggests that direct repression by Optix may restrict the expression of Vsx1 and Rx to the cOPC and pOPC, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalGenome
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • Enhancer
  • Optic lobe
  • Rx
  • Vsx1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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