The appendages of arthropods and vertebrates are not homologous structures, although the underlying genetic mechanisms that pattern them are highly conserved. Members of the Sp family of transcription factors are expressed in the developing limbs and their function is required for limb growth in both insects and chordates. Despite the fundamental and conserved role that these transcription factors play during appendage development, their target genes and the mechanisms in which they participate to control limb growth are mostly unknown. We analyzed here the individual contributions of two Drosophila Sp members, buttonhead (btd) and Sp1, during leg development. We show that Sp1 plays a more prominent role controlling leg growth than btd. We identified a regulatory function of Sp1 in Notch signaling, and performed a genome wide transcriptome analysis to identify other potential Sp1 target genes contributing to leg growth. Our data suggest a mechanism by which the Sp factors control appendage growth through the Notch signaling.
- Received April 19, 2016.
- Accepted August 12, 2016.