The gene homothorax (hth) is originally expressed uniformly in the wing imaginal disc but, during development, its activity is restricted to the cells that form the thorax and the hinge, where the wing blade attaches to the thorax, and eliminated in the wing pouch, which forms the wing blade. We show that hth repression in the wing pouch is a prerequisite for wing development; forcing hth expression prevents growth of the wing blade. Both the Dpp and the Wg pathways are involved in hth repression. Cells unable to process the Dpp (lacking thick veins or Mothers against Dpp activity) or the Wg (lacking dishevelled function) signal express hth in the wing pouch. We have identified vestigial (vg) as a Wg and Dpp response factor that is involved in hth control. In contrast to its repressing role in the wing pouch, wg upregulates hth expression in the hinge. We have also identified the gene teashirt (tsh) as a positive regulator of hth in the hinge. tsh plays a role specifying hinge structures, possibly in co-operation with hth.

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