The distal region of the Drosophila leg, the tarsus, is divided into five segments (ta I-V) and terminates in the pretarsus, which is characterized by a pair of claws. Several homeobox genes are expressed in distinct regions of the tarsus, including aristaless (al) and lim1 in the pretarsus, Bar (B) in ta IV and V, and apterous (ap) in ta IV. This pattern is governed by regulatory interactions between these genes; for example, Al and B are mutually antagonistic resulting in exclusion of B expression from the pretarsus. Although Al is necessary, it is not sufficient to repress B, indicating another factor is required. Here, this factor is identified as the product of the C15 gene, which is another homeodomain protein, a homolog of the human Hox11 oncogene. C15 is expressed in the same cells as al and, together, C15 and Al appear to directly repress B. C15/Al also act indirectly to repress ap in ta V, i.e., in surrounding cells. To do this, C15/Al autonomously repress expression of the gene encoding the Notch ligand Delta (Dl) in the pretarsus, restricting Dl to ta V and creating a Dl+/Dl- border at the interface between ta V and the pretarsus. This results in upregulation of Notch signaling, which induces expression of the bowl gene, the product of which represses ap.