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Abrell, S., Jackle, H. (2001). Axon guidance of Drosophila SNb motoneurons depends on the cooperative action of muscular Kruppel and neuronal capricious activities.  Mech. Dev. 109(1): 3--12.
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The body wall musculature of the Drosophila larva consists of a stereotyped pattern of 30 muscles per abdominal hemisegment which are innervated by about 40 distinct motoneurons. Proper innervation by motoneurons is established during late embryogenesis. Guidance of motor axons to specific muscles requires appropriate pathfinding decisions as they follow their pathways within the central nervous system and on the surface of muscles. Once the appropriate targets are reached, stable synaptic contacts between motoneurons and muscles are formed. Recent studies revealed a number of molecular components required for proper motor axon pathfinding and demonstrated specific roles in fasciculation/defasciculation events, a key process in the formation of discrete motoneuron pathways. The gene capricious (caps), which encodes a cell-surface protein, functions as a recognition molecule in motor axon guidance, regulating the formation of the selective connections between the SNb-derived motoneuron RP5 and muscle 12. Here we show that Krüppel (Kr), best known as a segmentation gene of the gap class, functionally interacts with caps in establishing the proper axonal pathway of SNb including the RP5 axons. The results suggest that the transcription factor Krüppel participates in proper control of cell-surface molecules which are necessary for the SNb neurons to navigate in a caps-dependent manner within the array of the ventral longitudinal target muscles.

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