Regulation of Nuclear Transport and Activity of the Drosophila Morphogen Dorsal

  • Jacqueline L. Norris
  • James L. Manley
Part of the Progress in Gene Expression book series (PRGE)


The Drosophila Dorsal (dl) protein is the maternal morphogen responsible for establishing dorsal-ventral (D/V) polarity in the early embryo. The dl protein is localized in a nuclear concentration gradient with the highest levels of dl present in the ventral most region of the embryo and the lowest levels in the dorsal most region (Steward et al, 1988). The dl protein is a member of the rel/NF-κB family of transcription factors and, like other members of this family, is regulated by its subcellular localization (Rushlow and Warrior, 1992). The dl morphogen is uniformally cytoplasmic in the early embryo, where it is held in an inactive state, until shortly after fertilization when it is transported into ventral but not dorsal nuclei (Rushlow et al, 1989; Roth et al, 1989; Steward et al, 1989). Once localized in the nucleus dl acts as both a transcriptional activator and repressor (Ip et al, 1991, 1992a, b; Jiang et al, 1991; Thisse et al, 1991; Pan et al, 1991; Kirov et al, 1994). This review will focus on the signaling pathway that regulates dl subcellular localization. Particular attention will be paid to the events that occur after the signal for dl nuclear uptake is received. Similarities between the regulation of dl and the regulation of NF-κB will also be emphasized.


Nuclear Transport Drosophila Embryo Toll Protein Cleavage Cycle Perivitelline Fluid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Birkhäuser Boston 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacqueline L. Norris
  • James L. Manley

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