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Dev Genes Evol. 1999 May;209(5):301-11.

Role of Notch pathway in terminal follicle cell differentiation during Drosophila oogenesis.

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Department of Biochemistry, J-581 Health Science Building, Box 357350, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7350, USA.


During Drosophila oogenesis the body axes are determined by signaling between the oocyte and the somatic follicle cells that surround the egg chamber. A key event in the establishment of oocyte anterior-posterior polarity is the differential patterning of the follicle cell epithelium along the anterior-posterior axis. Both the Notch and epithelial growth factor (EGF) receptor pathways are required for this patterning. To understand how these pathways act in the process we have analyzed markers for anterior and posterior follicle cells accompanying constitutive activation of the EGF receptor, loss of Notch function, and ectopic expression of Delta. We find that a constitutively active EGF receptor can induce posterior fate in anterior but not in lateral follicle cells, showing that the EGF receptor pathway can act only on predetermined terminal cells. Furthermore, Notch function is required at both termini for appropriate expression of anterior and posterior markers, while loss of both the EGF receptor and Notch pathways mimic the Notch loss-of-function phenotype. Ectopic expression of the Notch ligand, Delta, disturbs EGF receptor dependent posterior follicle cell differentiation and anterior-posterior polarity of the oocyte. Our data are consistent with a model in which the Notch pathway is required for early follicle cell differentiation at both termini, but is then repressed at the posterior for proper determination of the posterior follicle cells by the EGF receptor pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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