Drosophila goosecoid participates in neural development but not in body axis formation

EMBO J. 1996 Jun 17;15(12):3077-84.


In vertebrate embryos, the homeobox gene goosecoid (gsc) is expressed in the gastrula organizer region and in later arising embryonic tissues including the foregut anlage. Ectopic expression and loss-of-function studies have demonstrated that Xenopus gsc elicits a dorsalizing activity that contributes to body axis formation. Here we report that the gsc gene is conserved in invertebrates. In Drosophila, D-gsc is expressed most strongly in the foregut anlage, which gives rise to the foregut proper and the stomatogastric nervous system (SNS). D-gsc expression overlaps with one of the three SNS precursor groups invaginating from the foregut anlage. Embryos mutant for D-gsc gastrulate normally but show disrupted invagination in the SNS primordium and lack one specific SNS ganglion. In addition, D-gsc mutant embryos show a less well defined defect in foregut arrangement. Our results indicate that this invertebrate homolog of gsc is not required for gastrulation but plays a role in neurogenesis in post-gastrula Drosophila embryos.

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
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Digestive System / embryology
  • Digestive System / metabolism
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Goosecoid Protein
  • Homeodomain Proteins*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Nervous System / embryology
  • Phenotype
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transcription Factors*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Goosecoid Protein
  • Gsc protein, Drosophila
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U52968