The HLH protein Extramacrochaetae is required for R7 cell and cone cell fates in the Drosophila eye

Abhishek Bhattacharya, Nicholas E. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


Notch signaling is one of the most important pathways in development and homeostasis, and is altered in multiple pathologies. Study of Drosophila eye development shows that Notch signaling depends on the HLH protein Extramacrochaetae. Null mutant clones show that extramacrochaetae is required for multiple aspects of eye development that depend on Notch signaling, including morphogenetic furrow progression, differentiation of R4, R7 and cone cell types, and rotation of ommatidial clusters. Detailed analysis of R7 and cone cell specification reveals that extramacrochaetae acts cell autonomously and epistatically to Notch, and is required for normal expression of bHLH genes encoded by the E(spl)-C which are effectors of most Notch signaling. A model is proposed in which Extramacrochaetae acts in parallel to or as a feed-forward regulator of the E(spl)-Complex to promote Notch signaling in particular cellular contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-300
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2009



  • Cell fate specification
  • Drosophila eye
  • Extramacrochaetae
  • Eye development
  • Notch signaling
  • R7 cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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