Dorsoventral Pattern Formation in Drosophila: Signal Transduction and Nuclear Targeting

Trends Genet. 1991 Apr;7(4):119-25. doi: 10.1016/0168-9525(91)90456-z.


The maternal determinants of dorsoventral polarity of the Drosophila embryo are derived from somatic and germ-line components of the egg chamber. During oogenesis, asymmetry seems to be established by a signal transduction process. This process is thought to provide the developing embryo with a ventral signal responsible for determining the embryonic axis. Through a set of interactions that may involve signal transduction and proteolytic cascade events, positional information is generated in the form of a graded distribution of dorsal protein in blastoderm nuclei. Different levels of dorsal protein result in asymmetric expression of zygotic genes that ultimately specify cell fate.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / anatomy & histology
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Drosophila / genetics