Response to the dorsal anterior gradient of EGFR signaling in Drosophila oogenesis is prepatterned by earlier posterior EGFR activation

Cell Rep. 2013 Aug 29;4(4):791-802. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.07.038. Epub 2013 Aug 22.


Spatially restricted epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activity plays a central role in patterning the follicular epithelium of the Drosophila ovary. In midoogenesis, localized EGFR activation is achieved by the graded dorsal anterior localization of its ligand, Gurken. Graded EGFR activity determines multiple dorsal anterior fates along the dorsal-ventral axis but cannot explain the sharp posterior limit of this domain. Here, we show that posterior follicle cells express the T-box transcription factors Midline and H15, which render cells unable to adopt a dorsal anterior fate in response to EGFR activation. The posterior expression of Midline and H15 is itself induced in early oogenesis by posteriorly localized EGFR signaling, defining a feedback loop in which early induction of Mid and H15 confers a molecular memory that fundamentally alters the outcome of later EGFR signaling. Spatial regulation of the EGFR pathway thus occurs both through localization of the ligand and through localized regulation of the cellular response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Epithelium / physiology
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Mutation
  • Oogenesis*
  • Receptors, Invertebrate Peptide / genetics
  • Receptors, Invertebrate Peptide / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / genetics
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / metabolism


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • H15 protein, Drosophila
  • Receptors, Invertebrate Peptide
  • T-Box Domain Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha
  • grk protein, Drosophila
  • mid protein, Drosophila
  • Egfr protein, Drosophila
  • ErbB Receptors