Patterning an Epidermal Field:DrosophilaLozenge, a Member of the AML-1/Runt Family of Transcription Factors, Specifies Olfactory Sense Organ Type in a Dose-Dependent Manner
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Sense organ development in the Drosophila antenna is initiated by the selection of a founder cell from an epidermal field. This cell is believed to recruit neighbours to form a cluster of cells which then divides to form a mature sense organ. In most systems so far studied, sense organ type appears to be specified by the identity of proneural genes involved in the selection of precursors. The regulation of proneural gene expression is, in turn, controlled by the prepatterning genes. In the antenna, the only known proneural function is that of atonal, a gene that is involved in founder cell choice in the sensilla coeloconica, and no prepatterning gene function has yet been demonstrated. In this study, we show that Lozenge, a protein which possesses a DNA binding domain similar to that of the Acute myeloid leukemia-1/Runt transcription factors, functions in a dose-dependent manner to specify the fate of the other two types of sense organs in the antenna: the sensilla trichoidea and the sensilla basiconica. Our results suggest that Lozenge may act on the epidermal field, resulting in founder cells acquiring specific cell fates that lead to the development of an appropriate type of sense organ.
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