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Trends Genet. 1999 Oct;15(10):396-402.

Morphogen gradients: new insights from DPP.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, 920 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


The Drosophila TGFbeta family member Decapentaplegic (DPP) has been proposed to function as a morphogen to pattern cell fields in a number of developmental contexts. A series of recent reports add significantly to our knowledge of the mechanisms of DPP-gradient formation and interpretation. These reports identity additional genes and genetic circuitry necessary for this patterning system, and they highlight variations that might reflect developmental constraints within individual target cell fields.

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