From lineage to wiring specificity. POU domain transcription factors control precise connections of Drosophila olfactory projection neurons

Cell. 2003 Jan 24;112(2):157-67. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(03)00030-8.


Axonal selection of synaptic partners is generally believed to determine wiring specificity in the nervous system. However, we have recently found evidence for specific dendritic targeting in the olfactory system of Drosophila: second order olfactory neurons (Projection Neurons) from the anterodorsal (adPN) and lateral (lPN) lineages send their dendrites to stereotypical, intercalating but non-overlapping glomeruli. Here we show that POU domain transcription factors, Acj6 and Drifter, are expressed in adPNs and lPNs respectively, and are required for their dendritic targeting. Moreover, misexpression of Acj6 in lPNs, or Drifter in adPNs, results in dendritic targeting to glomeruli normally reserved for the other PN lineage. Thus, Acj6 and Drifter translate PN lineage information into distinct dendritic targeting specificity. Acj6 also controls stereotypical axon terminal arborization of PNs in a central target, suggesting that the connectivity of PN axons and dendrites in different brain centers is coordinately regulated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Lineage*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dendrites / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Mitosis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Olfactory Nerve / cytology*
  • Olfactory Nerve / metabolism*
  • POU Domain Factors
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • POU Domain Factors
  • Transcription Factors
  • vvl protein, Drosophila
  • acj6 protein, Drosophila