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Dorsoventral lineage restriction in wing imaginal discs requires Notch


The formation of boundaries that prevent the intermixing of cells is an important developmental patterning mechanism. The compartmental lineage restrictions that appear in the developing imaginal discs of Drosophila are striking examples of such boundaries1. However, little is known about the cellular mechanism underlying compartmental lineage restrictions. The dorsoventral (D/V) lineage restriction that arises late in the developing wing imaginal disc requires the dorsal expression of the transcription factor Apterous and it has been hypothesized that apterous (ap) maintains compartmentalization by directly regulating the expression of molecules that modify cell adhesion or affinity2. However, ap expression also regulates signalling between dorsal and ventral compartments, resulting in high levels of Notch signalling at the D/V boundary3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17. Here we show that the formation of Notch-dependent boundary cells is required for the D/V lineage restriction.

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Figure 1: Notch signalling along the dorsoventral (D/V) compartment boundary of the wing imaginal disc.
Figure 2: Late third-instar wing discs containing N- clones (N) generated at 72–60 h before pupariation, marked by the absence of a marker gene (green).
Figure 3: The role of signalling at compartment boundaries.
Figure 4: Model for the maintenance of the D/V lineage restriction.


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We thank the Keck Neural Imaging Center for use of its confocal microscope. This work was supported by research grants from NSF and NIH, and a fellowship to C.A.M. from the Neuroscience Training Program at the University of Wisconsin.

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Correspondence to Seth S. Blair.

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Micchelli, C., Blair, S. Dorsoventral lineage restriction in wing imaginal discs requires Notch. Nature 401, 473–476 (1999).

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