Patterning by EGF Receptor: Models from Drosophila Development
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) belongs to a large class of receptor tyrosine kinases. Abnormal EGFR signaling is associated with severe developmental defects and many types of cancers. Many individual molecules mediating the EGFR-induced responses became drug targets in oncology and other areas of medicine. However, neither the contribution of EGFR to tissue morphogenesis in development nor the exact role of deregulated EGFR signaling in diseases is understood at this time. The key challenge is to integrate the existing molecular and cellular information into a systems-level description of the EGFR network in tissues. Systems-level descriptions are impossible without quantitative models. Even the simplest models of EGFR signaling in tissues must simultaneously account for ligand transport, binding, signal transduction, and gene expression. Given this complexity, such tissue-level models are difficult to test; therefore, they require appropriate experimental paradigms for their validation. We suggest that model organisms of developmental genetics, such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, can be used as experimental systems for the development and validation of computational descriptions of EGFR signaling in tissues.
KeywordsEpidermal Growth Factor Receptor Follicle Cell Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Activity Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Pathway Oocyte Nucleus
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