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Secretion of the amino-terminal fragment of the Hedgehog protein is necessary and sufficient for hedgehog signaling in Drosophila


Fietz, MJ and Jacinto, A and Taylor, AM and Alexandre, C and Ingham, PW, Secretion of the amino-terminal fragment of the Hedgehog protein is necessary and sufficient for hedgehog signaling in Drosophila, Current Biology, 5, (6) pp. 643-650. ISSN 0960-9822 (1995) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S0960-9822(95)00129-1


Background: The Drosophila segment polarity gene hedgehog encodes a member of a family of secreted proteins that are involved in a variety of patterning processes, in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Some of these processes depend upon short-range or contact-dependent interactions, whereas others seem to involve long-range signalling. Two different models have been proposed to account for the execution of these contrasting processes by the same proteins: one postulates that Hedgehog acts exclusively over short distances, its long-range influences being effected through regulation of other signalling factors; the second postulates that different aspects of Hedgehog activity are mediated by distinct forms of the protein that are generated by autoproteolysis . Results: We have investigated these models by mutating the hedgehog coding region such that only the amino-terminal or carboxy-terminal half of the protein is secreted. Deletion of the carboxy-terminal portion has little effect on the signalling activity of the protein, whereas abolishing the secretion of the amino-terminal half leads to a complete loss of signalling. In addition, we find that increases in the level of expression within the normal hedgehog transcriptional domain of either the wild-type protein or the carboxy-terminal-deleted form expand the range of activity to a limited extent, but have only minor effects on cell identity. Conclusions: In Drosophila, all of the signalling activity of Hedgehog resides in the amino-terminal portion of the protein, the secretion of which is essential for its function. The range of Hedgehog is limited by the close association of the amino-terminal peptide with the cell surface but can be extended by elevating the level of its expression.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Biochemistry and cell biology
Research Field:Cell metabolism
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Fietz, MJ (Dr Michael Fietz)
ID Code:4233
Year Published:1995
Web of Science® Times Cited:66
Deposited By:Biochemistry
Deposited On:1995-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-22

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