The establishment of axial polarity in the Drosophila egg and embryo depends on intercellular communication between two cell types in the ovary, the germ-line, and the soma. The genes gurken and egfr encode two essential players of this communication pathway. Gurken protein, a TGF-α-like molecule, is expressed in the germline, while the EGF-receptor homolog, Egfr, is expressed in the somatic cells of the ovary. Using the yeast two-hybrid system we show here, for the first time, that Gurken protein directly binds to the extra-cellular domain of Egfr. This direct physical association requires the presence of an intact EGF motif within Gurken protein. Furthermore, we provide evidence that this characteristic motif may be sufficient for interaction with the receptor, at list in vitro. Our results firmly establish Gurken as the germline ligand of Drosophila Egfr.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2002|
- EGF repeat