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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Aug;10(8):509-12. doi: 10.1038/nrm2730.

Follow the mRNA: a new model for Bicoid gradient formation.

Author information

1
University of Toronto, Department of Molecular Genetics, Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. howard.lipshitz@utoronto.ca

Abstract

Morphogens are molecules that specify cell fate in a concentration-dependent manner. A classic example is the Bicoid (BCD) protein, for which the prevailing model is that translation of bcd mRNA occurs from a point source at the anterior pole of the Drosophila melanogaster embryo followed by diffusion to produce a protein gradient. This model has been challenged by experiments showing that the diffusion rate of BCD is too slow to establish the protein gradient. The work described in a recent paper has solved this conundrum by demonstrating that a bcd mRNA gradient prefigures the BCD protein gradient.

PMID:
19626044
DOI:
10.1038/nrm2730
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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