neuralized (neu) represents one of the strong neurogenic mutants in Drosophila. Mutants of this class display, among other phenotypes, a strong overcommitment to neural fates at the expense of epidermal fates. We analyzed the role of neu during adult development by using mutant clonal analysis, misexpression of wild-type and truncated forms of Neu, and examination of genetic interactions with N-pathway mutations. We find that neu is required cell-autonomously for lateral inhibition during peripheral neurogenesis and for multiple asymmetric cell divisions in the sensory lineage. In contrast, neu is apparently dispensable for other N-mediated processes, including lateral inhibition during wing vein development and wing margin induction. Misexpression of wild-type Neu causes defects in both peripheral neurogenesis and wing vein development, while a truncated form lacking the RING finger is further capable of inhibiting formation of the wing margin. In addition, the phenotypes produced by misexpression of wild-type and truncated Neu proteins are sensitive to the dosage of several N-pathway components. Finally, using epitope-tagged Neu proteins, we localize Neu to the plasma membrane and reveal a novel morphology to the sensory organ precursor cells of wing imaginal discs. Collectively, these data indicate a key role for neu in the reception of the lateral inhibitory signal during peripheral neurogenesis.
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