Sizing Signals

Sci. Signal.  08 Mar 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 163, pp. ec70
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4163ec70

Growth regulation of the Drosophila wing imaginal disc critically depends on the Decapentaplegic (Dpp) morphogen gradient. How a graded Dpp signal is interpreted by cells to control homogeneous tissue growth remains unclear. Wartlick et al. (see the Perspective by Le Goff and Lecuit) address this question by measuring the spatial and temporal changes of Dpp concentration and signaling activity during the disc growth phase and by quantifying cell proliferation parameters in the discs. Both modeling and experimental findings suggest that both Dpp concentration and signaling gradients scale with tissue size so that, on average, the onset of mitosis occurs when Dpp signaling levels have increased by 50% since the beginning of the cell cycle.

O. Wartlick, P. Mumcu, A. Kicheva, T. Bittig, C. Seum, F. Jülicher, M. González-Gaitán, Dynamics of Dpp signaling and proliferation control. Science 331, 1154–1159 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]

L. Le Goff, T. Lecuit, Gradient scaling and growth. Science 331, 1141–1142 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]