Secretion and movement of wingless protein in the epidermis of the Drosophila embryo

Mech Dev. 1991 Aug;35(1):43-54. doi: 10.1016/0925-4773(91)90040-d.


The segment polarity gene wingless encodes a cysteine rich protein which is essential for pattern formation in Drosophila. Using polyclonal antibodies against the product of the wingless gene, we demonstrate that this protein is secreted in the embryo and that it is taken up by neighbouring cells. The protein can be found two or three cell diameters away from the cells in which it is synthesized. We discuss the possible mechanisms which are responsible for this spatial distribution and its regulation during embryogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / physiology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / ultrastructure
  • Epidermis / embryology
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteins / pharmacokinetics
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / metabolism


  • Proteins
  • RNA