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Dev Cell. 2002 Aug;3(2):195-207.

FGF is an essential mitogen and chemoattractant for the air sacs of the drosophila tracheal system.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, 94143, USA.


The Drosophila adult has a complex tracheal system that forms during the pupal period. We have studied the derivation of part of this system, the air sacs of the dorsal thorax. During the third larval instar, air sac precursor cells bud from a tracheal branch in response to FGF, and then they proliferate and migrate to the adepithelial layer of the wing imaginal disc. In addition, FGF induces these air sac precursors to extend cytoneme-like filopodia to FGF-expressing cells. These findings provide evidence that FGF is a mitogen in Drosophila, correlate growth factor signaling with filopodial contact between signaling and responding cells, and suggest that FGF can act on differentiated tracheal cells to induce a novel behavior and role.

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