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Cell. 1994 Jul 29;78(2):225-37.

Receptor serine/threonine kinases implicated in the control of Drosophila body pattern by decapentaplegic.

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Zoologisches Institut Universit├Ąt Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


Members of the TGF beta superfamily of secreted signaling molecules regulate growth and cellular patterning during development and interact with specific type I and type II membrane receptors possessing a cytoplasmic serine/threonine kinase domain. We describe two members of the type I receptor family in Drosophila and demonstrate that they are encoded by the genes saxophone (sax) and thick veins (tkv). Further, we show that mutations that abolish sax or tkv activity cause phenotypes similar to partial or complete loss of activity, respectively, of the TGF beta homolog decapentaplegic (dpp). We propose that specification of distinct cell fates in response to different concentrations of dpp may be achieved combinatorially by the sax and tkv receptors.

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