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Development. 2006 Jan;133(1):3-14.

Signaling from Smo to Ci/Gli: conservation and divergence of Hedgehog pathways from Drosophila to vertebrates.

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  • 1Developmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Although the framework of the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is evolutionarily conserved, recent studies indicate that fundamental differences exist between Drosophila and vertebrates in the way signals are transduced from the membrane protein Smoothened (Smo) to the Ci/Gli transcription factors. For example, Smo structure and the roles of fused and Suppressor of fused have diverged. Recently, many vertebrate-specific components have been identified that act between Smo and Gli. These include intra-flagellar transport proteins, which link vertebrate Hh signaling to cilia. Because abnormal Hh signaling can cause birth defects and cancer, these vertebrate-specific components may have roles in human health.

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