1. Developmental Biology
  2. Neuroscience
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How prolonged expression of Hb, a temporal transcription factor, re-wires locomotor circuits

  1. Julia L Meng
  2. Zarion D Marshall
  3. Meike Lobb-Rabe
  4. Ellie S Heckscher  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Chicago, United States
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e46089 doi: 10.7554/eLife.46089

Abstract

How circuits assemble starting from stem cells is a fundamental question in developmental neurobiology. We test the hypothesis that, in neuronal stem cells, temporal transcription factors predictably control neuronal terminal features and circuit assembly. Using the Drosophila motor system, we manipulate expression of the classic temporal transcription factor, Hunchback (Hb) specifically in the NB7-1 stem cell, which produces U motor neurons (MNs), and then we monitor dendrite morphology and neuromuscular synaptic partnerships. We find that prolonged expression of Hb leads to transient specification of U MN identity, and that embryonic molecular markers do not accurately predict U MN terminal features. Nonetheless, our data show Hb acts as a potent regulator of neuromuscular wiring decisions. These data introduce important refinements to current models, show that molecular information acting early in neurogenesis as a switch to control motor circuit wiring and provide novel insight into the relationship between stem cell and circuit.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Julia L Meng

    Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Zarion D Marshall

    Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Meike Lobb-Rabe

    Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Ellie S Heckscher

    Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, United States
    For correspondence
    heckscher@uchicago.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-7618-0616

Funding

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (R01-NS105748)

  • Ellie S Heckscher

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (T32 GM007183)

  • Julia L Meng

National Science Foundation (DGE-1746045)

  • Julia L Meng

University of Chicago

  • Ellie S Heckscher

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Oliver Hobert, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: February 14, 2019
  2. Accepted: September 9, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 10, 2019 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2019, Meng et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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