Modulators of hormonal response regulate temporal fate specification in the Drosophila brain

2019 | journal article; research paper. A publication of Göttingen

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​Modulators of hormonal response regulate temporal fate specification in the Drosophila brain​
Marchetti, G. & Tavosanis, G. ​ (2019) 
PLoS Genetics15(12) art. e1008491​.​ DOI: 

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Marchetti, Giovanni; Tavosanis, Gaia 
Neuronal diversity is at the core of the complex processing operated by the nervous system supporting fundamental functions such as sensory perception, motor control or memory formation. A small number of progenitors guarantee the production of this neuronal diversity, with each progenitor giving origin to different neuronal types over time. How a progenitor sequentially produces neurons of different fates and the impact of extrinsic signals conveying information about developmental progress or environmental conditions on this process represent key, but elusive questions. Each of the four progenitors of the Drosophila mushroom body (MB) sequentially gives rise to the MB neuron subtypes. The temporal fate determination pattern of MB neurons can be influenced by extrinsic cues, conveyed by the steroid hormone ecdysone. Here, we show that the activation of Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) signalling via glial-derived Myoglianin regulates the fate transition between the early-born α'β' and the pioneer αβ MB neurons by promoting the expression of the ecdysone receptor B1 isoform (EcR-B1). While TGF-β signalling is required in MB neuronal progenitors to promote the expression of EcR-B1, ecdysone signalling acts postmitotically to consolidate theα'β' MB fate. Indeed, we propose that if these signalling cascades are impaired α'β' neurons lose their fate and convert to pioneer αβ. Conversely, an intrinsic signal conducted by the zinc finger transcription factor Krüppel-homolog 1 (Kr-h1) antagonises TGF-β signalling and acts as negative regulator of the response mediated by ecdysone in promoting α'β' MB neuron fate consolidation. Taken together, the consolidation of α'β' MB neuron fate requires the response of progenitors to local signalling to enable postmitotic neurons to sense a systemic signal.
Issue Date
PLoS Genetics 
FOR 2705: Dissection of a Brain Circuit: Structure, Plasticity and Behavioral Function of the Drosophila Mushroom Body 
FOR 2705 | TP 6: The role of gap junctions during mushroom body development and remodeling 
Working Group
RG Tavosanis (Developmental Neurobiology) 



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