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Development. 1997 Oct;124(20):4113-20.

dally, a Drosophila glypican, controls cellular responses to the TGF-beta-related morphogen, Dpp.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721, USA.


Decapentaplegic (Dpp) is a Drosophila member of the Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-beta)/Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) superfamily of growth factors. Dpp serves as a classical morphogen, where concentration gradients of this secreted factor control patterning over many cell dimensions. Regulating the level of Dpp signaling is therefore critical to its function during development. One type of molecule proposed to modulate growth factor signaling at the cell surface are integral membrane proteoglycans. We show here that division abnormally delayed (dally), a Drosophila member of the glypican family of integral membrane proteoglycans is required for normal Dpp signaling during development, affecting cellular responses to this morphogen. Ectopic expression of dally+ can alter the patterning activity of Dpp, suggesting a role for dally+ in modulating Dpp signaling strength. These findings support a role for members of the glypican family in controlling TGF-beta/BMP activity in vivo by affecting signaling at the cell surface.

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