One Challenging question in neurogenesis concerns the identification of cues that trigger axonal growth and pathfinding to form stereotypic neuronal networks during the construction of a nervous system. Here, we show that in Drosophila, Engrailed (EN) and Gooseberry-Neuro (GsbN) act together as cofactors to build the posterior commissures (PCs), which shapes the ventral nerve cord. Indeed, we show that these two protiens are acting together in axon growth and midline crossing, and that this concerted action occurs at early development, in neuroblasts. More precisely, we identified that their expressions in NB 6-4 are necessary and sufficient to trigger the formation of the PCs, demonstrating that segmentation genes such as EN and GsbN play a crucial role in the in the determination of NB 6-4 in a way that will later influence growth and guidance of all the axons that form PCs. We also demonstrate a more specific function of GsbN in differentiated neurons, leading to fasciculations between axons, which might be required to obtain PC mature axon bundles. © 2008 Colomb et al.
Colomb, S., Joly, W., Bonneaud, N., & Maschat, F. (2008). A concerted action of Engrailed and Gooseberry-Neuro in neuroblast 6-4 is triggering the formation of embryonic posterior commissure bundles. PLoS ONE, 3(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0002197