Temporal patterning of neural progenitors in drosophila

Xin Li, Zhenqing Chen, Claude Desplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Drosophila has recently become a powerful model system to understand the mechanisms of temporal patterning of neural progenitors called neuroblasts (NBs). Two different temporal sequences of transcription factors (TFs) have been found to be sequentially expressed in NBs of two different systems: the Hunchback, Krüppel, Pdm1/Pdm2, Castor, and Grainyhead sequence in the Drosophila ventral nerve cord; and the Homothorax, Klumpfuss, Eyeless, Sloppy-paired, Dichaete, and Tailless sequence that patterns medulla NBs. In addition, the intermediate neural progenitors of type II NB lineages are patterned by a different sequence: Dichaete, Grainyhead, and Eyeless. These three examples suggest that temporal patterning of neural precursors by sequences of TFs is a common theme to generate neural diversity. Cross-regulations, including negative feedback regulation and positive feedforward regulation among the temporal factors, can facilitate the progression of the sequence. However, there are many remaining questions to understand the mechanism of temporal transitions. The temporal sequence progression is intimately linked to the progressive restriction of NB competence, and eventually determines the end of neurogenesis. Temporal identity has to be integrated with spatial identity information, as well as with the Notch-dependent binary fate choices, in order to generate specific neuron fates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-96
Number of pages28
JournalCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
Volume105
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • Neuroblasts
  • Temporal sequence
  • Temporal specification
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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