Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cell. 2001 Jun 1;105(5):599-612.

Cholesterol modification of sonic hedgehog is required for long-range signaling activity and effective modulation of signaling by Ptc1.

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, The Biolabs, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling from the posterior zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) is the primary determinant of anterior-posterior polarity in the vertebrate limb field. An active signal is produced by an autoprocessing reaction that covalently links cholesterol to the N-terminal signaling moiety (N-Shh(p)), tethering N-Shh(p) to the cell membrane. We have addressed the role played by this lipophilic modification in Shh-mediated patterning of mouse digits. Both the distribution and activity of N-Shh(p) indicate that N-Shh(p) acts directly over a few hundred microns. In contrast, N-Shh, a form that lacks cholesterol, retains similar biological activity to N-Shh(p), but signaling is posteriorly restricted. Thus, cholesterol modification is essential for the normal range of signaling. It also appears to be necessary for appropriate modulation of signaling by the Shh receptor, Ptc1.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances, Grant Support

Publication Types

MeSH Terms


Grant Support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk