Diversification of cell types in the Drosophila eye by differential expression of prepattern genes

Mech Dev. 2001 Oct;108(1-2):13-27. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(01)00466-x.


According to Freeman (Development, 124 (1997) 261), reiterative use of Spitz signals emanating from already differentiated ommatidial cells triggers the differentiation of around ten different types of cells. Here we show evidence that the choice of cell fate by newly recruited ommatidial cells strictly depends on their developmental potential. Using forced expression of a constitutively active form of Ras1, three developmental potentials (rough, seven-up, and prospero expression) were visualized as relatively narrow bands corresponding to regions where rough-, seven-up- or prospero-expressing ommatidial cells would normally form. Ras1-dependent expression of ommatidial marker genes was regulated by a combinatorial expression of eye prepattern genes such as lozenge, dachshund, eyes absent, and cubitus interruptus, indicating that developmental potential formation is governed by region-specific prepattern gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila / cytology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / growth & development*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • ELAV Proteins
  • Eye / cytology*
  • Eye / growth & development*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Genes, Insect
  • Genetic Markers
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Receptors, Steroid / genetics
  • Ribonucleoproteins / genetics
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • ras Proteins*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • ELAV Proteins
  • Genetic Markers
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • ROD protein, Drosophila
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • pros protein, Drosophila
  • svp protein, Drosophila
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Ras85D protein, Drosophila
  • ras Proteins