A family of neural RNA-binding proteins has recently been described in both vertebrates and invertebrates. We have identified a new member of this family, the Drosophila musashi (msi) locus, which is required for development of adult external sensory organs (sensilla). In contrast with wild-type sensilla, which contain two outer support cells, the msi mutation typically results in the appearance of extra outer support cells. The msi putative RNA-binding protein is localized to the nucleus and appears to be expressed in all cells in each sensillum and predominantly in neurons during embryogenesis. We propose that the msi protein regulates sensillum development by controlling the expression of target genes at the posttranscriptional level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas