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The Notch signalling pathway is involved in many processes where cell fate is decided. Previous work showed that Notch is required at successive steps during R8 specification in the Drosophila eye. Initially, Notch enhances atonal expression and promotes atonal function. After atonal autoregulation has been established, Notch signalling represses atonal expression during lateral specification. In this paper we investigate which known components of the Notch pathway are involved in each signalling process. Using clonal analysis we show that a ligand of Notch, Delta, is required along with Notch for both proneural enhancement and lateral specification, while the downstream components Suppressor-of-Hairless and Enhancer-of-Split are involved only in lateral specification. Our data point to a distinct signal transduction pathway during proneural enhancement by Notch. Using misexpression experiments we also show that particular Enhancer-of-split bHLH genes can differ greatly in their contribution to lateral specification.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2893 - 2900


Animals, Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors, Body Patterning, Calcium-Binding Proteins, Cell Differentiation, Clone Cells, DNA-Binding Proteins, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, Eye, Genes, Insect, Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs, Insect Proteins, Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Jagged-1 Protein, Ligands, Membrane Proteins, Mutation, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate, Receptors, Notch, Repressor Proteins, Serrate-Jagged Proteins, Signal Transduction, Transcription Factors