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Curr Biol. 1998 May 7;8(10):583-6.

Suppressor of fused links fused and Cubitus interruptus on the hedgehog signalling pathway.

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Institut Jacques Monod CNRS, Université Paris VII, Paris, France.


The Hedgehog (Hh) family of signalling proteins [1] mediate inductive interactions either directly or by controlling the transcription of other secreted proteins through the action of Gli transcription factors, such as Cubitus interruptus (Ci) [2]. In Drosophila, the transcription of Hh targets requires the activation of the protein kinase Fused (Fu) and the inactivation of both Suppressor of fused (Su(fu)) and Costal-2 (Cos-2) [3]. Fu is required for Hh signalling in the embryo and in the wing imaginal disc and acts also as an antitumorigen in ovaries [4]. All fu- phenotypes are suppressed by the loss of function of Su(fu) [5]. Fu, Cos-2 and Ci are co-associated in vivo in large complexes that are bound to microtubules in a Hh-dependent manner [6,7]. Here we investigate the role of Su(fu) in the intracellular part of the Hh signalling pathway. Using the yeast two-hybrid method and an in vitro binding assay, we show that Su(fu), Ci and Fu can interact directly to form a trimolecular complex, with Su(fu) binding to both its partners simultaneously. Su(fu) and Ci also co-immunoprecipitate from embryo extracts. We propose that, in the absence of Hh signalling, Su(fu) inhibits Ci by binding to it and that, upon reception of the Hh signal, Fu is activated and counteracts Su(fu), leading to the activation of Ci.

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