Cell type-specific regulatory sequences control expression of the Drosophila FMRF-NH2 neuropeptide gene

Ronald J. Benveniste, Paul H. Taghert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The FMRFamide (dFMRFa) neuropeptide gene is expressed in about 17 diverse cell types in the Drosophila central nervous system. This expression pattern is generated by transcriptional control elements that are distributed over 8 kilobases of dFMRFa DNA. Previous studies identified one enhancer within the dFMRFa 5' region that is both necessary and sufficient to drive reporter transgene expression in one of the 17 dFMRFa cell types, the OL2 neurons. We now report the presence of two additional, non-overlapping enhancers within the gene: One drives expression by the six Tv neuroendocrine cells, and another in the four X and X2 interneurons. We also show that the Tv neuron-specific enhancer itself has complex organization, with several positively and negatively acting cis elements. Together, these results describe the organization of what is likely to be a prototypic neuronal gene promoter: an assemblage of multiple, independent, cell type-specific enhancers, each consisting of multiple quantitative elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-520
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 8 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Drosophila
  • FMRFa
  • Gene regulation
  • Neuropeptide
  • Transmitter phenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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