Role of Notch Signaling in Leg Development in Drosophila melanogaster

  • Sergio CórdobaEmail author
  • Carlos EstellaEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1218)


Notch pathway plays diverse and fundamental roles during animal development. One of the most relevant, which arises directly from its unique mode of activation, is the specification of cell fates and tissue boundaries. The development of the leg of Drosophila melanogaster is a fine example of this Notch function, as it is required to specify the fate of the cells that will eventually form the leg joints, the flexible structures that separate the different segments of the adult leg. Notch activity is accurately activated and maintained at the distal end of each segment in response to the proximo-distal patterning gene network of the developing leg. Region-specific downstream targets of Notch in turn regulate the formation of the different types of joints. We discuss recent findings that shed light on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that are ultimately governed by Notch to achieve epithelial fold and joint morphogenesis. Finally, we briefly summarize the role that Notch plays in inducing the nonautonomous growth of the leg. Overall, this book chapter aims to highlight leg development as a useful model to study how patterning information is translated into specific cell behaviors that shape the final form of an adult organ.


Notch Drosophila Leg Pattern formation Morphogenesis Joint Rho1 Dysf Rho GTPases Apical constriction Apoptosis Myo II 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa”, CSIC-UAMMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of BiologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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