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Cell. 1996 Nov 1;87(3):553-63.

Dual roles for patched in sequestering and transducing Hedgehog.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Genetics and Development, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Secreted proteins of the Hedgehog (Hh) family have diverse organizing roles in animal development. Recently, a serpentine protein Smoothened (Smo) has been proposed as a Hh receptor. Here, we present evidence that implicates another multiple-pass transmembrane protein, Patched (Ptc), in Hh reception and suggests a novel signal transduction mechanism in which Hh binds to Ptc, or a Ptc-Smo complex, and thereby induces Smo activity. Our results also show that Ptc limits the range of Hh action; we provide evidence that high levels of Ptc induced by Hh serve to sequester any free Hh and therefore create a barrier to its further movement.

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