Axon targeting in the Drosophila visual system

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2003 Feb;13(1):90-5. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(03)00004-7.


The neuronal wiring of the Drosophila melanogaster visual system is constructed through an intricate series of cell-cell interactions. Recent studies have identified some of the gene regulatory and cytoskeletal signaling pathways responsible for the layer-specific targeting of Drosophila photoreceptor axons. Target selection decisions of the R1-R6 subset of photoreceptor axons have been found to be influenced by the nuclear factors Brakeless and Runt, and target selection decisions of the R7 subset of axons have been found to require the cell-surface proteins Ptp69d, Lar and N-cadherin. A role for the visual system glia in orienting photoreceptor axon outgrowth and target selection has also been uncovered.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / genetics*
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Growth Cones / metabolism
  • Growth Cones / ultrastructure*
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Optic Lobe, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Optic Lobe, Nonmammalian / embryology*
  • Optic Lobe, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate / cytology
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate / embryology*
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Visual Pathways / cytology
  • Visual Pathways / embryology*
  • Visual Pathways / metabolism