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Mech Dev. 1996 Oct;59(2):105-13.

The Drosophila TGF-alpha-like protein Gurken: expression and cellular localization during Drosophila oogenesis.

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HHMI, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, NJ 08544, USA.


The establishment of anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral polarity of the Drosophila egg and embryo depends on the function of the genes gurken, cornichon and Egfr (Drosophila epidermal growth factor receptor homolog). These genes encode components of a signal transduction pathway that transmits information between the germline cells and the somatic follicle cells of the ovary. gurken encodes a transforming growth factor-alpha-like protein and is a putative germline ligand of the Egfr present on the follicle cells. In mid-oogenesis the gurken transcript becomes spatially localized to the future dorsal-anterior cortex of the oocyte. To analyze the distribution pattern of Gurken protein we prepared antibodies against Gurken. We describe here the distribution pattern of the Gurken protein in wild-type ovaries and in ovaries from a number of dorsal-ventral patterning mutants. By immunoblotting we detect one major form of the Gurken protein, which likely corresponds to the unprocessed protein.

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