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Publication : A positive role for Short gastrulation in modulating BMP signaling during dorsoventral patterning in the Drosophila embryo.

First Author  Decotto E Year  2001
Journal  Development Volume  128
Pages  3831-41 PubMed ID  11585808
Abstract Text  Positional information in the dorsoventral axis of the Drosophila embryo is encoded by a BMP activity gradient formed by synergistic signaling between the BMP family members Decapentaplegic (DPP) and Screw (SCW). short gastrulation (sog), which is functionally homologous to Xenopus Chordin, is expressed in the ventrolateral regions of the embryo and has been shown to act as a local antagonist of BMP signaling. Here we demonstrate that SOG has a second function, which is to promote BMP signaling on the dorsal side of the embryo. We show that a weak, homozygous-viable sog mutant is enhanced to lethality by reduction in the activities of the Smad family members Mad or Medea, and that the lethality is caused by defects in the molecular specification and subsequent cellular differentiation of the dorsal-most cell type, the amnioserosa. While previous data had suggested that the negative function of SOG is directed against SCW, we present data that suggests that the positive activity of SOG is directed towards DPP. We demonstrate that Chordin shares the same apparent ligand specificity as does SOG, preferentially inhibiting SCW but not DPP activity. However, in Drosophila assays Chordin does not have the same capacity to elevate BMP signaling as does SOG, identifying a functional difference in the otherwise well conserved process of dorsoventral pattern formation in arthropods and chordates. Issue  19
Month  Oct

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