The dachsous (ds), fat (ft), and four-jointed (fj) genes have been identified in Drosophila as part of a signaling pathway that regulates planar cell polarity (PCP). A homologous PCP signaling pathway has also been identified in vertebrates, but nothing is known thus far about the conservation of Ds/Ft/Fj signaling. Here we analyzed and compared for the first time the expression patterns of all ds, ft and fj homologs in the mouse. During embryogenesis, expression analysis was performed by RNA in situ hybridization and in adult organs by real time PCR. As in Drosophila, we detected a complementary expression of fjx1 and dchs1 in organs like kidney, lung, and intestine. The ubiquitous expression of ft in several tissues in Drosophila appears to be split into an epithelial expression of fat1/fat3 and a mesenchymal expression of fat-j. These data are compatible with a conservation and sub-functionalization of the Drosophila Ds, Fj, and Fat signaling in higher vertebrates.
Developmental Dynamics 234:747-755, 2005. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.