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Genetics. 1999 Jun;152(2):629-40.

Genetic analysis of the bone morphogenetic protein-related gene, gbb, identifies multiple requirements during Drosophila development.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.


We have isolated mutations in the Drosophila melanogaster gene glass bottom boat (gbb), which encodes a TGF-beta signaling molecule (formerly referred to as 60A) with highest sequence similarity to members of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) subgroup including vertebrate BMPs 5-8. Genetic analysis of both null and hypomorphic gbb alleles indicates that the gene is required in many developmental processes, including embryonic midgut morphogenesis, patterning of the larval cuticle, fat body morphology, and development and patterning of the imaginal discs. In the embryonic midgut, we show that gbb is required for the formation of the anterior constriction and for maintenance of the homeotic gene Antennapedia in the visceral mesoderm. In addition, we show a requirement for gbb in the anterior and posterior cells of the underlying endoderm and in the formation and extension of the gastric caecae. gbb is required in all the imaginal discs for proper disc growth and for specification of veins in the wing and of macrochaete in the notum. Significantly, some of these tissues have been shown to also require the Drosophila BMP2/4 homolog decapentaplegic (dpp), while others do not. These results indicate that signaling by both gbb and dpp may contribute to the development of some tissues, while in others, gbb may signal independently of dpp.

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