Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Sci. STKE, 21 May 2002
Vol. 2002, Issue 133, p. tw179
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2002.133.tw179]

EDITORS' CHOICE

Development A Wingful of Wingless

The Wnt protein encoded by the Drosophila wingless gene has critical roles in pattern formation during embryonic development and also in later development of the adult appendages. In embryonic development, the wingless (Wg) signal promotes expression of the product of the naked cuticle gene, Nkd, which functions as an intracellular inhibitor of wingless (Wg) signaling, thus providing a critical negative feedback loop. Given that Nkd appears to have no effect during development of the adult tissues, Gerlitz and Basler screened for additional genes whose expression pattern was consistent with function as a feedback inhibitor for Wg signaling. They isolated a new gene they call wingful. The Wf protein is a secreted protein with sequence similarity to hydrolases, indicating that it might function extracellularly to cleave a signaling molecule. Loss of function of Wf enhanced Wg signaling, whereas gain of Wf function inhibited Wf signaling. But Wf acted on development of the adult tissues, not the embryonic ones responsive to Nkd. The authors note that the two inhibitors of Wg signaling appear beautifully adapted to their respective roles. In early development, where Wg signals at short range, the Nkd protein inhibits intracellular signals whereas in later development of adult tissues, where Wg signaling occurs over a longer range, the extracellular Wf inhibitor comes into play, presumably assuring just the right shape and range of the Wg morphogen gradient.

O. Gerlitz, K. Basler, Wingful, an extracellular feedback inhibitor of wingless. Genes Dev. 16, 1055-1059 (2002). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: A Wingful of Wingless. Sci. STKE 2002, tw179 (2002).


To Advertise     Find Products


Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882