Post-transcriptional regulation of gurken by encore is required for axis determination in Drosophila

Nancy C. Hawkins, Cheryl Van Buskirk, Ueli Grossniklaus, Trudi Schüpbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Establishment of anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral polarity within the Drosophila egg chamber requires signaling between the germline and the somatic cells of the ovary. The gene gurken (grk) encodes a TGFα-like protein that is localized within the developing oocyte and is thought to locally activate torpedo/Egfr (top/Egfr), the Drosophila homolog of the EGF receptor, which is expressed throughout the follicular epithelium surrounding the oocyte. grk-Egfr signaling is required early in oogenesis for specification of posterior follicle cell fate and later in oogenesis for dorsal follicle cell fate determination, thus establishing the axes of the egg shell and embryo. Previous studies have shown that these patterning processes are highly sensitive to changes in the levels and localization of grk mRNA. Here we show that post-transcriptional regulation of Grk protein levels is required for correct pattern formation, encore (enc), a gene that functions in the regulation of germline mitosis and maintenance of oocyte identity, is also required for the accumulation of Grk protein during oogenesis. We present evidence that enc regulates Grk post-transcriptionally to ensure adequate levels of signaling for establishment of the anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral axes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4801-4810
Number of pages10
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Axis formation
  • Drosophila
  • Oogenesis
  • Post-transcriptional regulation
  • gurken


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