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Epidermal muscle attachment site-specific target gene expression and interference with myotube guidance in response to ectopic stripe expression in the developing Drosophila epidermis

Vorbruggen, G., Jackle, H.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1997 v.94 no.16 pp. 8606-8611
Drosophila melanogaster, transcription factors, mutants, gene expression, embryogenesis, muscles, integument, transgenic animals, embryo (animal)
The egr-type zinc-finger transcription factor encoded by the Drosophila gene stripe (sr) is expressed in a subset or epidermal cells to which muscles attach during late stages of embryogenesis. We report loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments indicating that sr activity provides ectodermal cells with properties required for the establishment or a normal muscle pattern during embryogenesis and for the differentiation of tendon-like epidermal muscle attachment sites (EMA). Our results show that sr encodes a transcriptional activator which acts as an autoregulated developmental switch gene. sr activity controls the expression of EMA-specific target genes in cells of ectodermal but not of mesodermal origin. sr-expressing ectodermal cells generate long-range signals that interfere with the spatial orientation of the elongating myotubes.