Gene model reviewed during 5.49
There is only one protein coding transcript and one polypeptide associated with this gene
312 (aa); 34 (kD)
Efficient DNA binding requires dimerization with another bHLH protein. Forms a heterodimer with Daughterless.
Click to get a list of regulatory features (enhancers, TFBS, etc.) and gene disruptions (point mutations, indels, etc.) within or overlapping Dmel\ato using the Feature Mapper tool.
In embryonic brain, expressed in two small clusters of cells (3-5 cells in each hemisphere) in the dorsal central brain; during stage 13 only. In L3 brain, detected in the inner proliferation center of the optic lobes and in two clusters of 20-30 cells in each of the central brain hemispheres.
In imaginal discs, ato transcripts are expressed in a dynamic pattern. Expression occurs in epidermal clusters followed by stronger expression in a smaller number of subepidermal cells in place of each cluster. These are almost exclusively the proneural clusters and SOPs of the chordotonal organs. It is also expressed in the morphogenetic furrow and in the inner proliferation zone of the developing brain. Embryonic expression is also characterized by a dynamic pattern of clusters and stripes that are thought to correspond to the proneural clusters and SOPs of chordotonal organs.
Comment: founder neuron
ato-protein expression detected in the inner proliferation center of the developing optic lobe.
ato is expressed in the developing retina in a broad stripe anterior to the morphogenetic furrow. It is later expressed in small clusters of roughly 20 cells and later in the developing photoreceptor cell R8.
ato and sens are detected in sensory precursor cells in embryonic stage 9, earlier than the rho reporter. All three are co-expressed in C1 SOP cells of slightly older embryos. ato expression disappears in stage 11.
ato is expressed in a stripe pattern in the most anterior region of the morphogenetic furrow, in the proneural clusters, and in the R8 founder neurons. It is repressed in a more posterior region of the eye disc. B is expressed in a complimentary pattern to ato in the basal undifferentiated cells.
Expression in procephalic neuroblasts stage 9-11: deuterocerebrum - d9, d11-13, v1, v3; protocerebrum - pd19
In stages 8-10 ato protein, a marker for sensory precursors, is expressed in small patches in the antennal and preantennal ectoderm. 7 neuroblasts are derived from these patches. Expression of ato in the procephalic region is largely complementary to that of proneural genes of the Achaete-Scute-Complex.
In embryonic brain, expressed in two small clusters of cells (3-5 cells in each hemisphere) in the dorsal central brain; tentatively identified as ganglion mother cells; during stage 13 only. In each hemisphere of the adult brain, expressed in a cluster of about 30 cells adjacent to the lobula and in another group of cells in the ventro-lateral brain.
Double labelling experiments were done to reveal the site of expression of ato relative to dpp which marks the deepest part of the morphogenetic furrow. ato protein expression begins just anterior (about 2-3 cell diameters) to dpp (as revealed by β-galactosidase). Refinement to intermediate clusters takes place just anterior to the edge of dpp expression and confinement to future R8 cells occurs in the deepest part of the furrow. Double staining with anti-ato antibodies and phalloidin reveals that the restriction of ato to intermediate groups precedes the patterning revealed by phalloiding staining. ato protein also marks the R8 cell before it is recognized by other markers or histological staining.
GBrowse - Visual display of RNA-Seq signalsView Dmel\ato in GBrowse 2
Please Note This section lists cDNAs and ESTs that fall within the genomic extent of the gene model, which may include cDNAs and ESTs of genes within introns, or of overlapping genes. Please see GBrowse for alignment of the cDNAs and ESTs to the gene model.
For each fully sequenced cDNA the DGRC maintains various forms of the cDNA (e.g tagged or untagged) in several different host vectors for subsequent cloning and expression in Drosophila and Drosophila cell lines.
Source for identity of: ato CG7508
dsRNA has been made from templates generated with primers directed against this gene. RNAi of ato results in reduced numbers of class I da neurons and altered arborization patterns of class I dendrites. RNAi also causes alterations in the number of MD neurons and defects in dendrite morphogenesis.
Ectopic expression of ato in the precursors of md neurons transforms all aspects of their central projection to form a ch-like arborization.
ato is required for proper axon branching and arborisation in the central brain (where it does not act as a proneural gene).
Reduced ato function gives rise to R8 photoreceptors that are functionally compromised: both recruitment and axon pathfinding defects are evident.
ato regulates signalling and other properties of R8 photoreceptor cell precursors.
A negative regulatory loop involving MAPK activation and ato repression is required for the generation of evenly spaced proneural clusters in the developing eye imaginal disc.
ato functions to drive cells to Bolwig's organ as opposed to optic lobe fate in the developing embryonic visual system.
hh is required in the developing eye both for the induction of ato expression that prefigures the position of the R8 cells, and for the repression of ato expression between the nascent proneural clusters.
Candidate gene for quantitative trait (QTL) locus determining bristle number.
Loss of function and overexpression studies reveal ato is both necessary and sufficient to specify one morphological type of olfactory sensilla on the antenna and all olfactory sensilla on the maxillary palp.
ato expression is coupled to N signalling only at a critical autoregulatory stage. Results propose that transitions between successive phases of proneural gene expression are important for neuronal pattern formation.
All proneural proteins are similarly able to promote the segregation of a neural precursor at the MP2 neuroblast position but show distinct capacities in its specification.
The basic domain of ato contains neuronal type specificity that determines the activity in the formation of the chordotonal organs.
The R8 fate in the developing eye is likely to be decided by the balance of the transcription factors encoded by ato and ro. The ato and ro products act as positive and negative factors, respectively, of such R8-specific genes as boss.
ato encodes the proneural gene for chordotonal organs and photoreceptors. The restriction of ato expression to the intermediate groups in the eye disc is, with sca expression, the earliest ommatidial patterning event identified. ato and sca expression identify the R8 cell before it is recognisable by other markers or histological staining.