Repression by Notch is required before Wingless signalling during muscle progenitor cell development in Drosophila

Curr Biol. 1999 Jul 1;9(13):707-10. doi: 10.1016/s0960-9822(99)80313-3.


The larval muscles of Drosophila arise from the fusion of muscle founder cells, which give each individual muscle its identity, with myoblasts (reviewed in [1]). Muscle founder cells arise from the asymmetric division of muscle progenitor cells, each of which develops from a group of cells in the somatic mesoderm that express lethal of scute [2]. All the cells in a cluster can potentially form muscle progenitors, but owing to lateral inhibition, only one or two develop as such [2] [3] [4] [5]. Muscle progenitors, and the subsequent founder cells, then express transcription factors such as Krüppel, S59 and Even-skipped, which confer identity on the muscle [6] [7] [8]. Definition of some muscle progenitors, including three groups that express S59, depends on Wingless signalling [9]. Lateral inhibition requires Delta signalling through Notch and the transcription factor Suppressor of Hairless [3] [4] [5]. As the Wingless and lateral-inhibition signals are sequential [8], one might expect that muscle progenitors would fail to develop in the absence of Wingless signalling, regardless of the presence or absence of lateral-inhibition signalling. Here, we examine the development of the S59-expressing muscle progenitor cells in mutant backgrounds in which both Wingless signalling and lateral inhibition are disrupted. We show that progenitor cells failed to develop when both these processes were disrupted. Our analysis also reveals a repressive function of Notch, required before or concurrently with Wingless signalling, which is unrelated to its role in lateral inhibition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscles / embryology*
  • Paracrine Communication / physiology
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Time Factors


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • N protein, Drosophila
  • Receptors, Notch
  • slou protein, Drosophila