numb, a gene required in determination of cell fate during sensory organ formation in Drosophila embryos

Cell. 1989 Jul 28;58(2):349-60. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(89)90849-0.


Neurons and support cells of each sensory organ in Drosophila embryos are most likely derived from a single precursor cell. This cell lineage is affected in numb mutants. Morphological alterations of sensory structures, as well as changes in the number of cells expressing cell type-specific markers, indicate that sensory neurons in numb mutant embryos are transformed into lineage-related nonneuronal support cells. Thus the numb gene controls the fate of progeny derived from sensory organ precursors. The numb gene has been isolated by the plasmid rescue method. The structure of its predicted product is discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Dendrites / cytology
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes*
  • Juvenile Hormones / analysis
  • Juvenile Hormones / genetics*
  • Juvenile Hormones / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurons, Afferent / cytology
  • Sense Organs / cytology
  • Sense Organs / embryology*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Juvenile Hormones
  • numb protein, Drosophila

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M27815