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Science 314 (5802): 1135-1139

Copyright © 2006 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Sara Endosomes and the Maintenance of Dpp Signaling Levels Across Mitosis

Christian Bökel,1* Anja Schwabedissen,1 Eugeni Entchev,1 Olivier Renaud,1{dagger} Marcos González-Gaitán1,2{ddagger}

Abstract: During development, cells acquire positional information by reading the concentration of morphogens. In the developing fly wing, a gradient of the transforming growth factor–ß (TGF-ß)–type morphogen decapentaplegic (Dpp) is transduced into a gradient of concentration of the phosphorylated form of the R-Smad transcription factor Mad. The endosomal protein Sara (Smad anchor for receptor activation) recruits R-Smads for phosphorylation by the type I TGF-ß receptor. We found that Sara, Dpp, and its type I receptor Thickveins were targeted to a subpopulation of apical endosomes in the developing wing epithelial cells. During mitosis, the Sara endosomes and the receptors therein associated with the spindle machinery to segregate into the two daughter cells. Daughter cells thereby inherited equal amounts of signaling molecules and thus retained the Dpp signaling levels of the mother cell.

1 Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
2 Department of Biochemistry and Department of Molecular Biology, Geneva University, Sciences II, 30 Quai Ernest-Ansermet, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.

* *Present address: Biotechnological Center, Dresden University of Technology, Tatzberg 47, 01307 Dresden, Germany.

{dagger} Present address: Automation Project, Plateforme d'Imagerie Dynamique, Institut Pasteur, 25–28, rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris, France.

{ddagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: marcos.gonzalez{at}

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