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Mech Dev. 2000 Jul;95(1-2):201-6.

Identification of maverick, a novel member of the TGF-beta superfamily in Drosophila.

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Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.


The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily of structurally related ligands regulates essential signaling pathways that control many aspects of cell behavior in organisms across the phylogenetic spectrum. Here we report the identification of maverick (mav), a gene that encodes a new member of the TGF-beta superfamily in Drosophila. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence comparison suggest that Mav cannot be easily assigned to any one sub-family, since it is equally related to BMP, activin and TGF-beta ligands. mav maps to the fourth chromosome and is expressed throughout development. In situ hybridization experiments reveal the presence of maternally derived mav transcript in precellular blastoderm embryos. Later in development, mav is expressed in a dynamic pattern in the developing gut, both in endodermal and visceral mesodermal cells. In adult females, high levels of mav mRNA are present in late stage egg chambers.

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