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Nature. 2002 Aug 15;418(6899):781-5. Epub 2002 Jul 24.

Distalization of the Drosophila leg by graded EGF-receptor activity.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA. camp@pitt.edu

Abstract

Arthropods and higher vertebrates both possess appendages, but these are morphologically distinct and the molecular mechanisms regulating patterning along their proximodistal axis (base to tip) are thought to be quite different. In Drosophila, gene expression along this axis is thought to be controlled primarily by a combination of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and Wnt signalling from sources of ligands, Decapentaplegic (Dpp) and Wingless (Wg), in dorsal and ventral stripes, respectively. In vertebrates, however, proximodistal patterning is regulated by receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) activity from a source of ligands, fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), at the tip of the limb bud. Here I revise our understanding of limb development in flies and show that the distal region is actually patterned by a distal-to-proximal gradient of RTK activity, established by a source of epidermal growth factor (EGF)-related ligands at the presumptive tip. This similarity between proximodistal patterning in vertebrates and flies supports previous suggestions of an evolutionary relationship between appendages/body-wall outgrowths in animals.

PMID:
12181568
DOI:
10.1038/nature00971
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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