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Organ formation requires early specification of the groups of cells that will give rise to specific structures. The Wingless protein plays an important part in this regional specification of imaginal structures in Drosophila, including defining the region of the eye-antennal disc that will become retina. We show that Wingless signalling establishes the border between the retina and adjacent head structures by inhibiting the expression of the eye specification genes eyes absent, sine oculis and dachshund. Ectopic Wingless signalling leads to the repression of these genes and the loss of eyes, whereas loss of Wingless signalling has the opposite effects. Wingless expression in the anterior of wild-type discs is complementary to that of these eye specification genes. Contrary to previous reports, we find that under conditions of excess Wingless signalling, eye tissue is transformed not only into head cuticle but also into a variety of inappropriate structures.


Journal article



Publication Date





5313 - 5322


Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing, Animals, Armadillo Domain Proteins, Axin Protein, Body Patterning, Carrier Proteins, Cell Separation, Drosophila Proteins, Drosophila melanogaster, Eye Proteins, Female, Flow Cytometry, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Genes, Homeobox, Genes, Insect, Genes, Reporter, Homeodomain Proteins, Male, Nuclear Proteins, Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Repressor Proteins, Signal Transduction, Trans-Activators, Transcription Factors, Wnt1 Protein