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Development 138 (17): 3781-3789


Notch-mediated repression of bantam miRNA contributes to boundary formation in the Drosophila wing

Isabelle Becam1,*, Neus Rafel1,*, Xin Hong2,3, Stephen M. Cohen2,3, and Marco Milán1,4,{dagger}

1 Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Parc Científic de Barcelona, Baldiri Reixac, 10-12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.
2 Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, 61 Biopolis Drive, Proteos, Singapore 138673, Singapore.
3 Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, 14 Science Drive 4, Singapore 117543, Singapore.
4 ICREA, Parc Científic de Barcelona, Baldiri Reixac, 10-12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

{dagger} Author for correspondence (marco.milan{at}

Accepted for publication 27 June 2011.

Abstract: Subdivision of proliferating tissues into adjacent compartments that do not mix plays a key role in animal development. The Actin cytoskeleton has recently been shown to mediate cell sorting at compartment boundaries, and reduced cell proliferation in boundary cells has been proposed as a way of stabilizing compartment boundaries. Cell interactions mediated by the receptor Notch have been implicated in the specification of compartment boundaries in vertebrates and in Drosophila, but the molecular effectors remain largely unidentified. Here, we present evidence that Notch mediates boundary formation in the Drosophila wing in part through repression of bantam miRNA. bantam induces cell proliferation and we have identified the Actin regulator Enabled as a new target of bantam. Increased levels of Enabled and reduced proliferation rates contribute to the maintenance of the dorsal-ventral affinity boundary. The activity of Notch also defines, through the homeobox-containing gene cut, a distinct population of boundary cells at the dorsal-ventral (DV) interface that helps to segregate boundary from non-boundary cells and contributes to the maintenance of the DV affinity boundary.

Key Words: bantamEnabledNotchCompartmentDrosophila

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