Transformation of eye to antenna by misexpression of a single gene

Mech Dev. Jan-Feb 2008;125(1-2):130-41. doi: 10.1016/j.mod.2007.09.012. Epub 2007 Oct 4.

Abstract

In Drosophila, the eye and antenna originate from a single epithelium termed the eye-antennal imaginal disc. Illumination of the mechanisms that subdivide this epithelium into eye and antenna would enhance our understanding of the mechanisms that restrict stem cell fate. We show here that Dip3, a transcription factor required for eye development, alters fate determination when misexpressed in the early eye-antennal disc, and have taken advantage of this observation to gain new insight into the mechanisms controlling the eye-antennal switch. Dip3 misexpression yields extra antennae by two distinct mechanisms: the splitting of the antennal field into multiple antennal domains (antennal duplication), and the transformation of the eye disc to an antennal fate. Antennal duplication requires Dip3-induced under proliferation of the eye disc and concurrent over proliferation of the antennal disc. While previous studies have shown that overgrowth of the antennal disc can lead to antennal duplication, our results show that overgrowth is not sufficient for antennal duplication, which may require additional signals perhaps from the eye disc. Eye-to-antennal transformation appears to result from the combination of antennal selector gene activation, eye determination gene repression, and cell cycle perturbation in the eye disc. Both antennal duplication and eye-to-antennal transformation are suppressed by the expression of genes that drive the cell cycle providing support for tight coupling of cell fate determination and cell cycle control. The finding that this transformation occurs only in the eye disc, and not in other imaginal discs, suggests a close developmental and therefore evolutionary relationship between eyes and antennae.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Eye / embryology*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Sense Organs / embryology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics

Substances

  • Dlip3 protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Transcription Factors