Embryonic neurogenesis in Drosophila requires intercellular interactions, mediated in great part by the products of the neurogenic genes, some of which have been accordingly shown to encode transmembrane proteins. Our analysis of E(sp1), one of the neurogenic loci, has shown that it comprises a number of genes, all of which appear to encode nuclear proteins. We are proposing to extend the molecular, genetic and biochemical analysis of the
E(sp1) genes. We specifically plan to document their spatiotemporal patterns of expression by RNA in-situs and by protein immunolocalisation in wild-type embryos as well as ones mutant for potentially interacting genes. The DNA binding ability of one class of E(sp1) proteins, homologous to helix-loop-helix transcription factors, will be assayed. As a broader aim, we shall try
to gain insight on how the neurogenic transmembrane signalling is transduced to the nucleus and how it affects gene expression to generate two distinct types of tissue, nervous and epidermal. We shall try to isolate genes activated as a result of the neurogenic signalling. One approach will involve cloning genes containing DNA binding sites for E(sp1) proteins. Alternatively, we will try to isolate genes turned on as a result of interaction of the two products of neurogenic genes Notch and Delta on the surface of cultured cells.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
CB2 3DY Cambridge