The Dpp morphogen gradient derived from the anterior stripe of cells is thought to control growth and patterning of the Drosophila wing disc. However, the spatial-temporal requirement of dpp for growth and patterning remained largely unknown. Recently, two studies re-addressed this question. By generating a conditional null allele, one study proposed that the dpp stripe is critical for patterning but not for growth. In contrast, using a membrane-anchored nanobody to trap Dpp, the other study proposed that Dpp dispersal from the stripe is required for patterning and also for medial wing disc growth, at least in the posterior compartment. Thus, growth control by the Dpp morphogen gradient remains under debate. Here, by removing dpp from the stripe at different time points, we show that the dpp stripe source is indeed required for wing disc growth, also during third instar larval stages.
- Markus Affolter
- Markus Affolter
- Shinya Matsuda
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Utpal Banerjee, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
© 2017, Matsuda & Affolter
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Dpp, a member of the BMP family, is a morphogen that specifies positional information in Drosophila wing precursors. In this tissue, Dpp expressed along the anterior-posterior boundary forms a concentration gradient that controls the expression domains of target genes, which in turn specify the position of wing veins. Dpp also promotes growth in this tissue. The relationship between the spatio-temporal profile of Dpp signalling and growth has been the subject of debate, which has intensified recently with the suggestion that the stripe of Dpp is dispensable for growth. With two independent conditional alleles of dpp, we find that the stripe of Dpp is essential for wing growth. We then show that this requirement, but not patterning, can be fulfilled by uniform, low level, Dpp expression. Thus, the stripe of Dpp ensures that signalling remains above a pro-growth threshold, while at the same time generating a gradient that patterns cell fates.
Single-molecule imaging provides a powerful way to study biochemical processes in live cells, yet it remains challenging to track single molecules while simultaneously detecting their interactions. Here, we describe a novel property of rhodamine dyes, proximity-assisted photoactivation (PAPA), in which one fluorophore (the ‘sender’) can reactivate a second fluorophore (the ‘receiver’) from a dark state. PAPA requires proximity between the two fluorophores, yet it operates at a longer average intermolecular distance than Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). We show that PAPA can be used in live cells both to detect protein–protein interactions and to highlight a subpopulation of labeled protein complexes in which two different labels are in proximity. In proof-of-concept experiments, PAPA detected the expected correlation between androgen receptor self-association and chromatin binding at the single-cell level. These results establish a new way in which a photophysical property of fluorophores can be harnessed to study molecular interactions in single-molecule imaging of live cells.