A novel gene glaikit (gkt) has been identified which is expressed in the de
laminating neuroblasts of the D. melanogaster embryonic central nervous sys
tem. At the earliest stages of embryonic development the expression of glai
kit was ubiquitous, but by the time the neuroblasts are delaminating: gkt e
xpression became restricted to neuroblasts and a few ganglion mother cells.
The gkt gene has no characterized homologues and encodes no previously des
cribed protein motifs. There are, however, evolutionary conserved predicted
genes present in S. pombe, S. cerevisiae and C. elegans. Ectopic neuroblas
ts induced in either Notch or Delta mutant backgrounds also showed expressi
on of glaikit. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.