Navigation Links
Fruit fly study digs deeper into poorly understood details of forming embryos

CINCINNATI Using fruit flies as a model to study embryo formation, scientists report in Nature Cell Biology that molecular breakdown of a protein called Bicoid is vital to normal head-to-tail patterning of the insect's offspring.

Published online by the journal Dec. 19, the study shows how Bicoid is targeted for molecular degradation by a newly identified protein the researchers named Fates-shifted (Fsd). Without the interaction between Bicoid and Fsd, fruit fly embryos are improperly formed and misshaped, according to scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

The findings are another example of how genetic and molecular studies of embryonic development in fruit flies (known formally as Drosophila melanogaster) help inform medical research into human disease and birth defects. Over half of the genes known to cause disease in humans have a recognizable match in the fruit fly's genetic code.

"Although there is no direct medical impact, this study has critical relevance for medical research into birth defects," said Jun Ma, Ph.D., senior investigator and a researcher in the divisions of Biomedical Bioinformatics and Development Biology. "For tissues in the developing embryo to form properly, cells have to know what their proper locations are. This study looks at the location cues cells receive in early Drosophila embryos."

The cues are delivered through a process that scientists still don't completely understand. It's controlled by molecules called morphogens, which form concentration gradients along the head-to-tail axis, or other axes, of developing embryos. Scientists think these gradients enable cells to know their locations when cells evaluate whether the chemical signals they receive are above or below specific threshold levels. The cells' knowledge of their locations leads them to choose different developmental paths and form distinct tissue types in embryos.

"There are really two sides of the morphogen problem," Dr. Ma explained. "The first is how such concentration gradients are formed in the first place, and the second is how cells respond to such gradients. Our current study looks into the first question at a molecular level."

Bicoid is a morphogen protein critical to fruit fly embryos in forming the head and thorax. The new findings suggest the protein's molecular breakdown is important for establishing a correct concentration gradient and the formation of appropriate tissues at their correct embryo locations.


Contact: Nick Miller
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. Goji berries have the same nutrients as fruits and vegetables and a placebo effect
2. Drinking 100 percent fruit juice is linked to higher intake of essential nutrients
3. Snap of fruit fly embryo wins scientific photo competition
4. Fruit flies help Yale scientists sniff out new insect repellents
5. Winter drought stress can delay flowering, prevent fruit loss in orange crops
6. UCI scientists decode genomes of sexually precocious fruit flies
7. OU study on genetics in fruit flies leads to new method for understanding brain function
8. Core knowledge of tree fruit expands with apple genome sequencing
9. Fruit flies use horizontal landmarks for altitude control, says Caltech research team
10. Understanding cancer using the fruit fly
11. Gene leads to longer shelf life for tomatoes, possibly other fruits
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 09, 2015 ... addition of the "Global Law Enforcement ... offering. --> ) has ... Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report ... and Markets ( ) has announced ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... November 4, 2015 --> ... report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market ... Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security solutions market is ... by 2022. The market is estimated to expand at ... 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among customers at ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions , ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce ... Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only three finalists ... "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor ... have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/23/2015)... ... ... Noblis, Inc., a leading provider of science, technology, and strategy services, announced ... (NGA), has joined the Noblis NSP team as President of the organization. , ... the private sector,” said L. Roger Mason, Jr., Ph.D. , Senior VP, National ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... and PISCATAWAY, New Jersey ... Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) announces the ... Structural Database (CSD) and the CSD-System, now complemented ... worldwide: CSD-Discovery to support the discovery of new ... and CSD-Enterprise, the complete set of the CCDC,s ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... , Nov. 23, 2015  CryoLife, Inc. (NYSE: ... focused on cardiac and vascular surgery, announced today that it ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at The ... . Pat Mackin , President and Chief ... and Chief Executive Officer. --> A live ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... Nov. 23, 2015  Oxis Biotech, Inc. (OXIS), ... [OTC: OXIS] and [Euronext Paris: OXI.PA] announced today ... Cancer Center received notification from the U.S. Food ... with their planned combination Phase 1/Phase 2 clinical ... to develop and commercialize OXS-1550, a novel therapy ...
Breaking Biology Technology: