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Curr Biol. 2002 Aug 20;12(16):R569-75.

The fertile field of Drosophila Jak/STAT signalling.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, Downing Street, University of Cambridge, CB2 3EJ, Cambridge, UK.


The JAK/STAT pathway plays important roles in vertebrate and invertebrate development. The recent cloning and characterisation of the receptor in Drosophila shows that the pathway is conserved across phyla. In this review we describe current knowledge of the pathway and use genome data to discuss what elements are present in Drosophila. We also summarise recent work describing the involvement of the JAK/STAT pathway in oogenesis and spermatogenesis. Interestingly, the JAK/STAT pathway maintains the niche required for germline stem cell maintenance in the testis, providing the first molecular characterisation of a stem cell niche. Drosophila's streamlined pathway offers a simple model to find new elements and analyse the function of existing ones.

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