A gradient of JAK pathway activity patterns the anterior-posterior axis of the follicular epithelium

Rongwen Xi, Jennifer R. McGregor, Douglas A. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


The Drosophila egg develops through closely coordinated activities of associated germline and somatic cells. An essential aspect of egg development is the differentiation of the somatic follicle cells into several distinct subpopulations with specific functions. Here we demonstrate that the graded activity of the Janus kinase (JAK) pathway, stimulated by the Unpaired ligand, patterns the anterior-posterior axis of the follicular epithelium. Different levels of JAK activity instruct adoption of distinct anterior cell fates. Further, the coordinated activities of the JAK/STAT and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathways are required to specify the posterior terminal cell fate. We propose that Upd secreted from the polar cells may act as a morphogen to stimulate A/P-derived follicular fates through JAK pathway activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-177
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge Drs. J. Duffy, H. Ruohola-Baker, T. Schupbach, D. St. Johnston, M. Zeidler, and S. Hou and the Bloomington Stock Center for sharing fly strains or other reagents. We also thank Drs. T. Schupbach, D. Montell, D. St. Johnston, H. Ruohola-Baker, J. Lengyel, and K. Johansen for helpful discussions and/or comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation to D.A.H. (IBN-9723944 and -0091535).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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