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PLoS One. 2013 May 31;8(5):e65076. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065076. Print 2013.

Localised JAK/STAT pathway activation is required for Drosophila wing hinge development.

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  • 1MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics and the Department of Biomedical Science, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.


Extensive morphogenetic remodelling takes place during metamorphosis from a larval to an adult insect body plan. These changes are particularly intricate in the generation of the dipteran wing hinge, a complex structure that is derived from an apparently simple region of the wing imaginal disc. Using the characterisation of original outstretched alleles of the unpaired locus as a starting point, we demonstrate the role of JAK/STAT pathway signalling in the process of wing hinge development. We show that differences in JAK/STAT signalling within the proximal most of three lateral folds present in the wing imaginal disc is required for fold morphology and the subsequent differentiation of the first and second auxiliary sclerites as well as the posterior notal wing process. Changes in these domains are consistent with the established fate map of the wing disc. We show that outstretched wing posture phenotypes arise from the loss of a region of Unpaired expression in the proximal wing fold and demonstrate that this results in a decrease in JAK/STAT pathway activity. Finally we show that reduction of JAK/STAT pathway activity within the proximal wing fold is sufficient to phenocopy the outstretched phenotype. Taken together, we suggest that localised Unpaired expression and hence JAK/STAT pathway activity, is required for the morphogenesis of the adult wing hinge, providing new insights into the link between signal transduction pathways, patterning and development.

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