• sulfated;
  • 6-O endosulfatase;
  • proteoglycan;
  • Wingless;
  • morphogen


Drosophila Wingless (Wg) acts as a morphogen to control pattern formation in a concentration dependent manner. Previous studies demonstrated important roles of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) in controlling Wg signaling and distribution. Here, we examined the role of Sulfated (Sulf1), a Drosophila homolog of vertebrate heparan sulfate 6-O endosulfatase, in Wg signaling and distribution. We show that sulf1 is specifically up-regulated by Wg signaling in the wing disc. We found that expression of Wg target gene senseless (sens) was elevated in the sulf1 mutant wing discs. Sulf1 also negatively regulate extracellular levels of Wg. Genetic interaction experiments indicate that Wg antagonist Notum may work synergistically with Sulf1 to restrict Wg signaling, and Dally, a member of Drosophila HSPGs, is a potential target of Sulf1. Our results demonstrate that sulf1 is a novel Wg target gene and by a feedback mechanism, it negatively regulated Wg signaling and distribution in vivo. Developmental Dynamics 240:640–648, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.