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Development. 2001 Jan;128(2):299-308.

The EGF receptor and N signalling pathways act antagonistically in Drosophila mesothorax bristle patterning.

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  • 1Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, CSIC and UAM, Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

An early step in the development of the large mesothoracic bristles (macrochaetae) of Drosophila is the expression of the proneural genes of the achaete-scute complex (AS-C) in small groups of cells (proneural clusters) of the wing imaginal disc. This is followed by a much increased accumulation of AS-C proneural proteins in the cell that will give rise to the sensory organ, the SMC (sensory organ mother cell). This accumulation is driven by cis-regulatory sequences, SMC-specific enhancers, that permit self-stimulation of the achaete, scute and asense proneural genes. Negative interactions among the cells of the cluster, triggered by the proneural proteins and mediated by the Notch receptor (lateral inhibition), block this accumulation in most cluster cells, thereby limiting the number of SMCs. Here we show that the proneural proteins trigger, in addition, positive interactions among cells of the cluster that are mediated by the Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the Ras/Raf pathway. These interactions, which we denominate 'lateral co-operation', are essential for macrochaetae SMC emergence. Activation of the EGFR/Ras pathway appears to promote proneural gene self-stimulation mediated by the SMC-specific enhancers. Excess EGFR signalling can overrule lateral inhibition and allow adjacent cells to become SMCs and sensory organs. Thus, the EGFR and Notch pathways act antagonistically in notum macrochaetae determination.

PMID:
11124124
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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