1. Developmental Biology
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Feedback regulation of cytoneme-mediated transport shapes a tissue-specific FGF morphogen gradient

  1. Lijuan Du
  2. Alex Sohr
  3. Ge Yan
  4. Sougata Roy  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Maryland, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 7
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e38137 doi: 10.7554/eLife.38137

Abstract

Gradients of signaling proteins are essential for inducing tissue morphogenesis. However, mechanisms of gradient formation remain controversial. Here we characterized the distribution of fluorescently-tagged signaling proteins, FGF and FGFR, expressed at physiological levels from the genomic knock-in alleles in Drosophila. FGF produced in the larval wing imaginal-disc moves to the air-sac-primordium (ASP) through FGFR-containing cytonemes that extend from the ASP to contact the wing-disc source. The number of FGF-receiving cytonemes extended by ASP cells decreases gradually with increasing distance from the source, generating a recipient-specific FGF gradient. Acting as a morphogen in the ASP, FGF activates concentration-dependent gene expression, inducing pointed-P1 at higher and cut at lower levels. The transcription-factors Pointed-P1 and Cut antagonize each other and differentially regulate formation of FGFR-containing cytonemes, creating regions with higher-to-lower numbers of FGF-receiving cytonemes. These results reveal a robust mechanism where morphogens self-generate precise tissue-specific gradient contours through feedback regulation of cytoneme-mediated dispersion.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Lijuan Du

    Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Alex Sohr

    Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Ge Yan

    Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Sougata Roy

    Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, United States
    For correspondence
    sougata@umd.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2236-9277

Funding

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (R35GM124878)

  • Sougata Roy

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R00HL114867)

  • Sougata Roy

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Bruce Edgar, University of Utah, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: May 8, 2018
  2. Accepted: October 16, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: October 17, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: November 8, 2018 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record updated: November 14, 2018 (version 3)

Copyright

© 2018, Du et al.

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.

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