Persistent expression of genes of the enhancer of split complex suppresses neural development in Drosophila

Neuron. 1996 Feb;16(2):275-86. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80046-x.


The segregation of neural and epidermal progenitors in Drosophila requires the activity of transcription factors encoded by the proneural genes and the genes of the E(SPL)-C. Persistent expression of two genes of the E(SPL)-C suppresses neural development. Embryos exhibit conspicuous central neural hypoplasia and lack sensory organs; imaginal sensory organs are also affected. Suppression of neural development is associated with suppression of the activity of proneural genes. DNA binding is not essential for this effect. Large cells with characteristics of neuroblasts segregate normally in embryos, but these cells fail to express various markers, and the segregated cells and/or their progeny eventually die. These findings indicate that proneural and E(spl) proteins exert antagonistic functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Death
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / growth & development*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic*
  • Gene Dosage
  • Gene Expression*
  • Mutation*
  • Nervous System / embryology
  • Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Nervous System Malformations