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Keywords:

  • proximo-distal axis;
  • Unpaired;
  • JAK/STAT;
  • leg;
  • antenna;
  • appendage;
  • Drosophila;
  • Wingless;
  • Decapentaplegic

Abstract

JAK/STAT signaling is thought to control growth and proliferation. However, here we show a novel role for this pathway in the patterning of Drosophila appendages. Loss of Stat92E function results mainly in ventralizations and multiplications of the proximo-distal axis in leg and antenna, primarily through the ectopic misexpression of wingless. We also show that the pathway ligand Unpaired is expressed in two domains in leg and antenna that abuts those of wingless and decapentaplegic. We report that JAK/STAT signaling represses both wingless and decapentaplegic, restricting them to their respective domains in leg and antenna. In a reciprocal manner, we show that wingless and decapentaplegic restrict unpaired to its two domains. Thus, a main function of the JAK/STAT pathway in leg and antennal development is to promote the formation of a single proximo-distal axis per disc by constraining the intersection of wingless and decapentaplegic to the center of the disc. Developmental Dynamics 236:2721–2730, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.