In Drosophila each neural precursor is chosen from a group of cells through cell interactions mediated by Notch and Delta which may function as receptor and ligand (signal), respectively, in a lateral signalling pathway. The cells of a group are equipotential and express both Notch and Delta. Hyperactive mutant Notch molecules, (Abruptex), probably have an enhanced affinity for the ligand. When adjacent to wild-type cells, cells bearing the Abruptex proteins are unable to produce the signal. It is suggested that in addition to the binding of Notch molecules on one cell to the Delta molecules of opposing cells, the Notch and Delta proteins on the surface of the same cell may interact. Binding between a cell's own Notch and Delta molecules would alter the availability of these proteins to interact with their counterparts on adjacent cells.

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