Feedback control of the EGFR signaling gradient: Superposition of domain-splitting events in Drosophila oogenesis

Jeremiah J. Zartman, Jitendra S. Kanodia, Lily S. Cheung, Stanislav Y. Shvartsman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The morphogenesis of structures with repeated functional units, such as body segments and appendages, depends on multi-domain patterns of cell signaling and gene expression. We demonstrate that during Drosophila oogenesis, the two-domain expression pattern of Broad, a transcription factor essential for the formation of the two respiratory eggshell appendages, is established by a single gradient of EGFR activation that induces both Broad and Pointed, which mediates repression of Broad. Two negative-feedback loops provided by the intracellular inhibitors of EGFR signaling, Kekkon-1 and Sprouty, control the number and position of Broad-expressing cells and in this way influence eggshell morphology. Later in oogenesis, the gradient of EGFR activation is split into two smaller domains in a process that depends on Argos, a secreted antagonist of EGFR signaling. In contrast to the previously proposed model of eggshell patterning, we show that the two-domain pattern of EGFR signaling is not essential for specifying the number of appendages. Thus, the processes that define the two-domain patterns of Broad and EGFR activation are distinct; their actions are separated in time and have different effects on eggshell morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2903-2911
Number of pages9
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Argos
  • EGFR
  • Feedback
  • Feedforward
  • Kekkon-1
  • Oogenesis
  • Pattern formation
  • Rhomboid
  • Sprouty


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