The Drosophila Activin-like ligand Dawdle signals preferentially through one isoform of the Type-I receptor Baboon

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology; Tzumin Lee Lab

Publication Date


Document Type



Activin Receptors; Activin Receptors, Type II; Activins; Amino Acid Sequence; Animals; Body Patterning; Carrier Proteins; Drosophila Proteins; Drosophila melanogaster; Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental; Ligands; Molecular Sequence Data; Protein Isoforms; Receptors, Cell Surface; *Signal Transduction; Wing


Neuroscience and Neurobiology


How TGF-beta-type ligands achieve signaling specificity during development is only partially understood. Here, we show that Dawdle, one of four Activin-type ligands in Drosophila, preferentially signals through Babo(c), one of three isoforms of the Activin Type-I receptor that are expressed during development. In cell culture, Dawdle signaling is active in the presence of the Type-II receptor Punt but not Wit, demonstrating that the Type-II receptor also contributes to the specificity of the signaling complex. During development, different larval tissues express unique combinations of these receptors, and ectopic expression of Babo(c) in a tissue where it is not normally expressed at high levels can make that tissue sensitive to Dawdle signaling. These results reveal a mechanism by which distinct cell types can discriminate between different Activin-type signals during development as a result of differential expression of Type-I receptor isoforms.

DOI of Published Version



Mech Dev. 2009 Dec;126(11-12):950-7. Epub 2009 Sep 18. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Mechanisms of development

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID