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Sun, X., Morozova, T., Sonnenfeld, M. (2006). Glial and neuronal functions of the Drosophila homolog of the human SWI/SNF gene ATR-X (DATR-X) and the jing zinc-finger gene specify the lateral positioning of longitudinal glia and axons.  Genetics 173(3): 1397--1415.
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Research paper

Neuronal-glial communication is essential for constructing the orthogonal axon scaffold in the developing Drosophila central nervous system (CNS). Longitudinal glia (LG) guide extending commissural and longitudinal axons while pioneer and commissural neurons maintain glial survival and positioning. However, the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms controlling these processes are not known. Previous studies showed that the midline function of the jing C2H2-type zinc-finger transcription factor was only partially required for axon scaffold formation in the Drosophila CNS. We therefore screened for gain-of-function enhancers of jing gain of function in the eye and identified the Drosophila homolog of the disease gene of human alpha-thalassemia/mental retardation X-linked (ATR-X) as well as other genes with potential roles in gene expression, translation, synaptic transmission, and cell cycle. jing and DATR-X reporter genes are expressed in both CNS neurons and glia, including the LG. Coexpression of jing and DATR-X in embryonic neurons synergistically affects longitudinal connective formation. During embryogenesis, jing and DATR-X have autonomous and nonautonomous roles in the lateral positioning of LG, neurons, and longitudinal axons as shown by cell-specific knockdown of gene expression. jing and DATR-X are also required autonomously for glial survival. jing and DATR-X mutations show synergistic effects during longitudinal axon formation suggesting that they are functionally related. These observations support a model in which downstream gene expression controlled by a potential DATR-X-Jing complex facilitates cellular positioning and axon guidance, ultimately allowing for proper connectivity in the developing Drosophila CNS.

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PMC1526706 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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