Activation of the kinase Pelle by Tube in the dorsoventral signal transduction pathway of Drosophila embryo

Nature. 1994 Dec 8;372(6506):563-6. doi: 10.1038/372563a0.


The concentration of Dorsal protein in the nucleus determines cell fate along the dorsoventral axis of the Drosophila embryo. The dorsal-group genes and the cactus gene are required for production and transmission of a localized signal on the ventral side of the embryo which determines the position of the highest nuclear concentration of Dorsal protein. The ventralizing signal produced in somatic cells is transmitted through the perivitelline space to the integral membrane protein Toll. Inside the embryo it leads to dissociation of the cytoplasmic Dorsal-Cactus complex and subsequent nuclear localization of Dorsal protein. Two components are known to mediate the signal transduction between Toll and Dorsal-Cactus: Pelle, a serine/threonine protein kinase, and Tube, a protein with an unknown biochemical activity. Here we construct gain-of-function alleles of pelle and tube and show that pelle functions downstream of tube. In addition, Pelle and Tube interact directly with one another. We propose that Tube is a direct activator of the protein kinase Pelle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Drosophila / enzymology*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Female
  • Insect Hormones / metabolism
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Toll-Like Receptors


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Hormones
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Tl protein, Drosophila
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • tub protein, Drosophila
  • RNA
  • pll protein, Drosophila
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases