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DWnt4 regulates the dorsoventral specificity of retinal projections in the Drosophila melanogaster visual system

Nature Neuroscience volume 9, pages 6775 (2006) | Download Citation

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  • An Erratum to this article was published on 01 February 2006

This article has been updated

Abstract

In Drosophila melanogaster, the axons of retinal photoreceptor cells extend to the first optic ganglion, the lamina, forming a topographic representation. Here we show that DWnt4, a secreted protein of the Wnt family, is the ventral cue for the lamina. In DWnt4 mutants, ventral retinal axons misprojected to the dorsal lamina. DWnt4 was normally expressed in the ventral half of the developing lamina and DWnt4 protein was detected along ventral retinal axons. Dfrizzled2 and dishevelled, respectively, encode a receptor and a signaling molecule required for Wnt signaling. Mutations in both genes caused DWnt4-like defects, and both genes were autonomously required in the retina, suggesting a direct role of DWnt4 in retinal axon guidance. In contrast, iroquois homeobox genes are the dorsal cues for the retina. Dorsal axons accumulated DWnt4 and misprojected to the ventral lamina in iroquois mutants; the phenotype was suppressed in iroquois Dfrizzled2 mutants, suggesting that iroquois may attenuate the competence of Dfrizzled2 to respond to DWnt4.

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Change history

  • 01 June 2005

    The PDF version of this article was corrected on 05 January 2006. Please see the PDF for the details.

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Acknowledgements

We thank T. Awasaki, B. Dickson and S. Kunes for critical comments on the manuscript; S. Cohen, N. Strausfeld, L. Ziparsky and members of the Tabata lab for helpful discussions; and Y. Maeyama for technical assistance. We are grateful to T. Akiyama, J. Axelrod, S. Campuzano, S. Cumberledge, E. Cohen, S. Cohen, B. Dickson, S. Hou, T. Kojima, E. Kuranaga, K. Matsuno, M. Miura, A. Nishida, R. Nusse, K. Saigo, A. Sato, G. Struhl, T. Suzuki, A. Tomlinson and E. Wilder for antibodies, fly strains and plasmids; the Bloomington Stock Center and the Drosophila Genetic Resource Center (Kyoto) for fly strains; and the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank for monoclonal antibodies. This work was supported by grants-in-aid from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture of Japan (M.S. and T.T.), by the Toray Science Foundation (T.T.) and by the Kato Memorial Bioscience Foundation (M.S.).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Laboratory of Morphogenesis, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo, Yayoi, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.

    • Makoto Sato
    • , Daiki Umetsu
    • , Satoshi Murakami
    • , Tetsuo Yasugi
    •  & Tetsuya Tabata
  2. Graduate Program in Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.

    • Makoto Sato
    • , Daiki Umetsu
    • , Satoshi Murakami
    • , Tetsuo Yasugi
    •  & Tetsuya Tabata

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tetsuya Tabata.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Fig. 1

    Retinotopic mapping at late third instar.

  2. 2.

    Supplementary Fig. 2

    Outer- and inner-photoreceptor axons are affected in DWnt4 and iro backgrounds.

  3. 3.

    Supplementary Fig. 3

    DWnt2 expression in the developing lamina.

  4. 4.

    Supplementary Fig. 4

    R axon projections are regulated independently of the dorso-ventral patterning of the retinae.

  5. 5.

    Supplementary Fig. 5

    Models.

  6. 6.

    Supplementary Fig. 6

    DWnt4 expression in the glia, the retina and the early lamina.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1604

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