Local Gurken signaling and dynamic MAPK activation during Drosophila oogenesis

Mech Dev. 1999 Mar;81(1-2):75-88. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(98)00228-7.


During Drosophila melanogaster oogenesis Gurken, a TGF-alpha like protein localized close to the oocyte nucleus, activates the MAPK cascade via the Drosophila EGF receptor (DER). Activation of this pathway induces different cell fates in the overlying follicular epithelium, specifying the two dorsolaterally positioned respiratory appendages and the dorsalmost cells separating them. Signal-associated internalization of Gurken protein into follicle cells demonstrates that the Gurken signal is spatially restricted and of constant intensity during mid-oogenesis. At the same time MAPK activation evolves in a spatially and temporally dynamic way and resolves into a complex pattern that presages the position of the appendages. Therefore, different dorsal follicle cell fates are not determined by a Gurken morphogen gradient. Instead they are specified by secondary signal amplification and refinement processes that integrate the Gurken signal with positive and negative feedback mechanisms generated by target genes of the DER pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Egg Proteins / metabolism
  • Egg Shell / metabolism
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism
  • Insect Proteins / physiology*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha*
  • Transforming Growth Factors / physiology*


  • Br protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Egg Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Rho protein, Drosophila
  • Stet protein, Drosophila
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha
  • cni protein, Drosophila
  • grk protein, Drosophila
  • sty protein, Drosophila
  • aos protein, Drosophila
  • Transforming Growth Factors
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases