Drosophila homeodomain protein REPO controls glial differentiation by cooperating with ETS and BTB transcription factors

Yoshihiro Yuasa, Masataka Okabe, Shingo Yoshikawa, Katsuhiko Tabuchi, Wen Cheng Xiong, Yasushi Hiromi, Hideyuki Okano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


In Drosophila, cell-fate determination of all neuroectoderm-derived glial cells depends on the transcription factor Glial cells missing (GCM), which serves as a binary switch between the neuronal and glial cell fates. Because the expression of GCM is restricted to the early phase of glial development, other factors must be responsible for the terminal differentiation of glial cells. Expression of three transcription factors, Reversed Polarity (REPO), Tramtrack p69 (TTK69) and PointedP1 (PNTP1), is induced by GCM in glial cells. REPO is a paired-like homeodomain protein, expressed exclusively in glial cells, and is required for the migration and differentiation of embryonic glial cells. To understand how REPO functions in glial terminal differentiation, we have analyzed the mechanism of gene regulation by REPO. We show that REPO can act as a transcriptional activator through the CAATTA motif in glial cells, and define three genes whose expression in vivo depends on REPO function. In different types of glial cells, REPO can act alone, or cooperate with either TTK69 or PNTP1 to regulate different target genes. Coordination of target gene expression by these three transcription factors may contribute to the diversity of glial cell types. In addition to promoting glial differentiation, we found that REPO is also necessary to suppress neuronal development, cooperating with TTK69. We propose that REPO plays a key role in both glial development and diversification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2419-2428
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Drosphila
  • Gcm
  • Glia
  • Neuron
  • Pointed
  • Repo
  • Tramtrack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Drosophila homeodomain protein REPO controls glial differentiation by cooperating with ETS and BTB transcription factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this