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Science 332 (6027): 354-358

Copyright © 2011 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Specificity of Drosophila Cytonemes for Distinct Signaling Pathways

Sougata Roy, Frank Hsiung,* Thomas B. Kornberg{dagger}

Abstract: Cytonemes are types of filopodia in the Drosophila wing imaginal disc that are proposed to serve as conduits in which morphogen signaling proteins move between producing and target cells. We investigated the specificity of cytonemes that are made by target cells. Cells in wing discs made cytonemes that responded specifically to Decapentaplegic (Dpp) and cells in eye discs made cytonemes that responded specifically to Spitz (the Drosophila epidermal growth factor protein). Tracheal cells had at least two types: one made in response to Branchless (a Drosophila fibroblast growth factor protein, Bnl), to which they segregate the Bnl receptor, and another to which they segregate the Dpp receptor. We conclude that cells can make several types of cytonemes, each of which responds specifically to a signaling pathway by means of the selective presence of a particular signaling protein receptor that has been localized to that cytoneme.

Cardiovascular Research Institute and Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.

* Present address: BioRad Laboratories, Hercules, CA 94547, USA.

{dagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: tkornberg{at}

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