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Genetics. 2005 May;170(1):173-84. Epub 2005 Mar 2.

A genetic screen in Drosophila for identifying novel components of the hedgehog signaling pathway.

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  • 1Developmental Biology Programme, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.


The Hedgehog signaling pathway plays an essential role in the pattern formation and development of metazoan animals. Misregulation of Hedgehog signaling has also been associated with the formation of multiple types of cancer. For these reasons, the Hedgehog pathway has attracted considerable interest. Many proteins required in the Hedgehog pathway have been identified, and while much has been learned about their function in signal transduction, it is clear that this complement of proteins does not comprise the full set necessary for Hedgehog signal transduction. Because significant gaps remain in our knowledge of the molecules required for Hedgehog signaling, we performed an enhancer/suppressor screen in Drosophila melanogaster to identify novel components of the pathway. In addition to the isolation of new alleles of the known pathway components patched and smoothened, this screen identified 14 novel complementation groups and a larger number of loci represented by single alleles. These groups include mutations in the genes encoding the translation factors eRF1 and eIF1A and the kinesin-like protein Pavarotti. It also identified mutations in a gene whose product is necessary for the movement of Hedgehog protein through tissues.

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