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Kinetics of Morphogen Gradient Formation

Science  26 Jan 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5811, pp. 521-525
DOI: 10.1126/science.1135774

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Abstract

In the developing fly wing, secreted morphogens such as Decapentaplegic (Dpp) and Wingless (Wg) form gradients of concentration providing positional information. Dpp forms a longer-range gradient than Wg. To understand how the range is controlled, we measured the four key kinetic parameters governing morphogen spreading: the production rate, the effective diffusion coefficient, the degradation rate, and the immobile fraction. The four parameters had different values for Dpp versus Wg. In addition, Dynamin-dependent endocytosis was required for spreading of Dpp, but not Wg. Thus, the cellular mechanisms of Dpp and Wingless spreading are different: Dpp spreading requires endocytic, intracellular trafficking.

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