Kerr KS, Fuentes-Medel Y, Brewer C, Barria R, Ashley J, Abruzzi KC, Sheehan A, Tasdemir-Yilmaz OE, Freeman MR, Budnik V
Glial cells are emerging as important regulators of synapse formation, maturation, and plasticity through the release of secreted signaling molecules. Here we use chromatin immunoprecipitation along with Drosophila genomic tiling arrays to define potential targets of the glial transcription factor Reversed polarity (Repo). Unexpectedly, we identified wingless (wg), a secreted morphogen that regulates synaptic growth at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ), as a potential Repo target gene. We demonstrate that Repo regulates wg expression in vivo and that local glial cells secrete Wg at the NMJ to regulate glutamate receptor clustering and synaptic function. This work identifies Wg as a novel in vivo glial-secreted factor that specifically modulates assembly of the postsynaptic signaling machinery at the Drosophila NMJ.