Multiple signaling pathways and a selector protein sequentially regulate Drosophila wing development

Shian Jang Yan, Yi Gu, Willis X. Li, Robert J. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Drosophila wing development is a useful model to study organogenesis, which requires the input of selector genes that specify the identity of various morphogenetic fields (Weatherbee, S. D. and Carroll, S. B. (1999) Cell 97, 283-286) and cell signaling molecules. In order to understand how the integration of multiple signaling pathways and selector proteins can be achieved during wing development, we studied the regulatory network that controls the expression of Serrate (Ser), a ligand for the Notch (N) signaling pathway, which is essential for the development of the Drosophila wing, as well as vertebrate limbs. Here, we show that a 794 bp cis-regulatory element located in the 3′ region of the Ser gene can recapitulate the dynamic patterns of endogenous Ser expression during wing development. Using this enhancer element, we demonstrate that Apterous (Ap, a selector protein), and the Notch and Wingless (Wg) signaling pathways, can sequentially control wing development through direct regulation of Ser expression in early, mid and late third instar stages, respectively. In addition, we show that later Ser expression in the presumptive vein cells is controlled by the Egfr pathway. Thus, a cis-regulatory element is sequentially regulated by multiple signaling pathways and a selector protein during Drosophila wing development. Such a mechanism is possibly conserved in the appendage outgrowth of other arthropods and vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-298
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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