Understanding morphogenetic growth control -- lessons from flies

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Aug 18;12(9):594-604. doi: 10.1038/nrm3169.


Morphogens are secreted signalling molecules that control the patterning and growth of developing organs. How morphogens regulate patterning is fairly well understood; however, how they control growth is less clear. Four principal models have been proposed to explain how the morphogenetic protein Decapentaplegic (DPP) controls the growth of the wing imaginal disc in the fly. Recent studies in this model system have provided a wealth of experimental data on growth and DPP gradient properties, as well as on the interactions of DPP with other signalling pathways. These findings have allowed a more precise formulation and evaluation of morphogenetic growth models. The insights into growth control by the DPP gradient will also be useful for understanding other morphogenetic growth systems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Comprehension
  • Diptera / embryology
  • Diptera / growth & development*
  • Diptera / physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Growth / genetics
  • Growth / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Morphogenesis / genetics*
  • Morphogenesis / physiology