Similar to other organisms, Drosophila uses its Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) multiple times throughout development. One crucial EGFR-dependent event is patterning of the follicular epithelium during oogenesis. In addition to providing inductive cues necessary for body axes specification, patterning of the follicle cells initiates the formation of two respiratory eggshell appendages. Each appendage is derived from a primordium comprising a patch of cells expressing broad (br) and an adjacent stripe of cells expressing rhomboid (rho). Several mechanisms of eggshell patterning have been proposed in the past, but none of them can explain the highly coordinated expression of br and rho. To address some of the outstanding issues in this system, we synthesized the existing information into a revised mathematical model of follicle cell patterning. Based on the computational model analysis, we propose that dorsal appendage primordia are established by sequential action of feed-forward loops and juxtacrine signals activated by the gradient of EGFR signaling. The model describes pattern formation in a large number of mutants and points to several unanswered questions related to the dynamic interaction of the EGFR and Notch pathways.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology