A hedgehog-insensitive form of patched provides evidence for direct long-range morphogen activity of sonic hedgehog in the neural tube

Mol Cell. 2001 Jun;7(6):1279-91. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(01)00271-4.


Cell pattern in the ventral neural tube is organized by Sonic hedgehog (Shh) secreted by floor plate cells. To assay the range of direct Shh action, we developed a general method for blocking transduction of Hedgehog (Hh) signals through ectopic expression of a deleted form of the Hh receptor Patched (Ptc), termed Ptc(Deltaloop2). We validated this method in Drosophila and used mouse Ptc1(Deltaloop2) (mPtc1(Deltaloop2)) to block Shh transduction in the chick neural tube. mPtc1(Deltaloop2) expression caused cell-autonomous ventral-to-dorsal switches in progenitor identity and neuronal fate throughout the ventral neural tube, supporting a gradient mechanism whereby Shh acts directly and at long range. mPtc1(Deltaloop2) expression also caused the abnormal spread of Shh to more dorsal cells, indicating that Shh in the neural tube, like Hh in Drosophila, induces a feedback mechanism that limits its range of action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Drosophila
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Nervous System / cytology
  • Nervous System / embryology*
  • Patched Receptors
  • Patched-1 Receptor
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins


  • Dbx1 protein, mouse
  • Dbx2 protein, mouse
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nkx2.2 protein
  • Nkx6-1 protein, mouse
  • Patched Receptors
  • Patched-1 Receptor
  • Proteins
  • Ptch1 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Zebrafish Proteins