Research ArticleDevelopmental Biology

Regulation of Epithelial Morphogenesis by the G Protein–Coupled Receptor Mist and Its Ligand Fog

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Science Signaling  12 Nov 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 301, pp. ra98
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004427

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Developmental Forecast: Fog and Mist

Embryos begin as single cells that proliferate to become a single layer of cells. During gastrulation, the single layer of cells changes shape to eventually give rise to the three main tissue layers of the body. Gastrulation in Drosophila requires the secreted factor Fog and the transcription factors Snail and Twist. Downstream effectors of Fog that can trigger changes in the cytoskeleton have been identified, although none bind directly to Fog. Manning et al. identified the G protein–coupled receptor Mist as a receptor for Fog and found that Mist was a transcriptional target of Snail. These results link a Snail-dependent transcriptional event to a receptor for Fog, thereby providing a mechanism for epithelial shape changes that drive gastrulation.