The homeobox transcription factor even-skipped regulates netrin-receptor expression to control dorsal motor-axon projections in Drosophila

Juan Pablo Labrador, David O'Keefe, Shingo Yoshikawa, Randall D. McKinnon, John B. Thomas, Greg J. Bashaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Homeobox transcription-factor codes control motor-neuron subtype identity and dorsal versus ventral axon guidance in both vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems [1-4]; however, the specific axon guidance-receptors that are regulated by these transcription factors to control pathfinding are poorly defined. In Drosophila, the Even-skipped (Eve) transcription factor specifies dorsal motor-axon projection [5] through the regulation of unidentified guidance molecules. The Netrins and their attractive and repulsive receptors DCC and Unc-5, respectively, define important conserved cue and receptor families that control growth-cone guidance [6]. In Drosophila, the Netrins and frazzled (the fly homolog of DCC) contribute to motor-axon guidance [7-9]. Here, using genetics and single-cell mRNA-expression analysis, we show that expression and requirement of different Netrin receptor combinations correlate with distinct dorsal and ventral motor-axon projections in Drosophila. Misexpression of eve dorsalizes ventral axons in part through the upregulation of Unc-5, whereas loss of eve function in two dorsally projecting motor neurons results in aberrant axon projections and a failure to express Unc-5. Our results support a functional link between the expression of distinct Netrin receptor combinations and the transcriptional control of dorsal motor-axon guidance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1413-1419
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume15
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 9 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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