Drosophila RBP-Jx is a novel sequence-specific DNA binding protein encompassing the integrase motif which is highly conserved in various organisms. Its gene has been shown to be identical to Suppressor of Hairless which regulates adult peripheral nervous system (PNS) development. To elucidate the precise function of the RBF-Jx protein in adult PNS development, we analyzed transgenic flies that misexpress the RBP-Jx protein. Such studies have shown that UBF-Jx regulates PNS cell fate in at least two steps: commitment to sensory mother cell by lateral inhibition and terminal differentiation into the socket and shaft cells. Taken together with analysis of phenotypes of Suppressor of Hairless mutants, RBP-Jx shows the synergistic activity with neurogenic genes.
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