In 1995, the eyeless (ey) gene was dubbed the "master-regulator" of eye development in Drosophila. Not only is ey required for eye development, but its misexpression can convert many other tissues into eye, including legs, wings and antennae.(1) ey is remarkable for its ability to drive coordinate differentiation of the multiple cell types that have to differentiate in a very precise pattern to construct the fly eye, and for its power to override the previous differentiation programs of many other diverse tissues. Even more remarkable, the ey homolog Pax6 and homologs of other eye determination genes from Drosophila are also required for eye development in vertebrates,(2,3) prompting reassessment of the evolution of vision throughout the animal kingdom.(4,5) Now Kumar and Moses have published a study that throws a new light on ey function in Drosophila.(6) According to their work, ey becomes a master regulator of eye development much later than previously thought, and is regulated by signalling through the Notch and EGFR signaling pathways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology