The establishment of anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral polarity of the Drosophila egg and embryo depends on the function of the genes gurken, cornichon and Egfr (Drosophila epidermal growth factor receptor homolog). These genes encode components of a signal transduction pathway that transmits information between the germline cells and the somatic follicle cells of the ovary. gurken encodes a transforming growth factor-α-like protein and is a putative germline ligand of the Egfr present on the follicle cells. In mid-oogenesis the gurken transcript becomes spatially localized to the future dorsal-anterior cortex of the oocyte. To analyze the distribution pattern of Gurken protein we prepared antibodies against Gurken. We describe here the distribution pattern of the Gurken protein in wild-type ovaries and in ovaries from a number of dorsal-ventral patterning mutants. By immunoblotting we detect one major form of the Gurken protein, which likely corresponds to the unprocessed protein.
- Dorsal-ventral axis
- Signal transduction