Wing vein patterning in Drosophila and the analysis of intercellular signaling

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2007;23:293-319. doi: 10.1146/annurev.cellbio.23.090506.123606.


The positioning and elaboration of ectodermal veins in the wing of Drosophila melanogaster rely on widely utilized developmental signals, including those mediated by EGF, BMP, Hedgehog, Notch, and Wnt. Analysis of vein patterning mutants, using the molecular and genetic mosaic techniques available in Drosophila, has provided important insights into how a combination of short-range and long-range signaling can pattern a simple epidermal tissue. Moreover, venation has become a powerful system for isolating and analyzing novel components in these signaling pathways. I here review the basic events of vein patterning and give examples of how changes in venation have been used to identify important features of cell signaling pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning*
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Veins / embryology*
  • Wings, Animal / blood supply
  • Wings, Animal / embryology*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • ErbB Receptors