Bistability coordinates activation of the EGFR and DPP pathways in Drosophila vein differentiation

Shian Jang Yan, Jeremiah J. Zartman, Minjie Zhang, Anthony Scott, Stanislav Y. Shvartsman, Willis X. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Cell differentiation in developing tissues is controlled by a small set of signaling pathways, which must coordinate the timing and levels of activation to ensure robust and precise outcomes. Highly coordinated activation of signaling pathways can result from cross-regulatory interactions in multi-pathway networks. Here we explore the dynamics and function of pathway coordination between the EGFR and DPP pathways during Drosophila wing-vein differentiation. We show that simultaneous activation of both the EGFR and DPP pathways must be maintained for vein cell differentiation and that above-threshold ectopic activation of either pathway is sufficient to drive vein cell differentiation outside the proveins. The joint activation of the EGFR and DPP signaling systems is ensured by a positive feedback loop, in which the two pathways stimulate each other at the level of ligand production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number278
JournalMolecular Systems Biology
StatePublished - Jan 20 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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