Co-factors and co-repressors of Engrailed: expression in the central nervous system and cerci of the cockroach, Periplaneta americana

Abstract

In the larval cockroach (Periplaneta americana), knockout of Engrailed (En) in the medial sensory neurons of the cercal sensory system changes their axonal arborization and synaptic specificity. Immunocytochemistry has been used to investigate whether the co-repressor Groucho (Gro; vertebrate homolog: TLE) and the co-factor Extradenticle (Exd; vertebrate homolog: Pbx) are expressed in the cercal system. Gro/TLE is expressed ubiquitously in cell nuclei in the embryo, except for the distal pleuropodia. Gro is expressed in all nuclei of the thoracic and abdominal central nervous system (CNS) of first instar larva, although some neurons express less Gro than others. Cercal sensory neurons express Gro protein, which might therefore act as a co-repressor with En. Exd/Pbx is expressed in the proximal portion of all segmental appendages in the embryo, with the exception of the cerci. In the first instar CNS, Exd protein is expressed in subsets of neurons (including dorsal unpaired medial neurons) in the thoracic ganglia, in the first two abdominal ganglia, and in neuromeres A8–A11 of the terminal ganglion. Exd is absent from the cerci. Because Ultrabithorax/Abdominal-A (Ubx/Abd-A) can substitute for Exd as En co-factors in Drosophila, Ubx/Abd-A immunoreactivity has also been investigated. Ubx/Abd-A immunostaining is present in abdominal segments of the embryo and first instar CNS as far caudal as A7 and faintly in the T3 segment. However, Ubx/Abd-A is absent in the cerci and their neurons. Thus, in contrast to its role in Drosophila segmentation, En does not require the co-factors Exd or Ubx/Abd-A in order to control the synaptic specificity of cockroach sensory neurons.

DOI: 10.1007/s00441-006-0300-7

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Cite this paper

@article{Blagburn2006CofactorsAC, title={Co-factors and co-repressors of Engrailed: expression in the central nervous system and cerci of the cockroach, Periplaneta americana}, author={Jonathan M. Blagburn}, journal={Cell and Tissue Research}, year={2006}, volume={327}, pages={177-187} }