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Development. 2012 Mar;139(6):1110-4. doi: 10.1242/dev.076562. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

Mirror represses pipe expression in follicle cells to initiate dorsoventral axis formation in Drosophila.

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Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona-CSIC, Parc Científic de Barcelona, Barcelona 08028, Spain.


Dorsoventral (DV) axis formation in Drosophila begins with selective activation of EGFR, a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK), in dorsal-anterior (DA) ovarian follicle cells. A critical event regulated by EGFR signaling is the repression of the sulfotransferase-encoding gene pipe in dorsal follicle cells, but how this occurs remains unclear. Here we show that Mirror (Mirr), a homeodomain transcription factor induced by EGFR signaling in DA follicle cells, directly represses pipe expression by binding to a conserved element in the pipe regulatory region. In addition, we find that the HMG-box protein Capicua (Cic) supports pipe expression in ventral follicle cells by repressing Mirr in this region. Interestingly, this role of Cic resembles its function in regulating anteroposterior (AP) body patterning, where Cic supports gap gene expression in central regions of the embryo by repressing Tailless, a repressor induced by RTK signaling at the embryonic poles. Thus, related RTK-Cic repressor circuits regulate the early stages of Drosophila DV and AP body axis formation.

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