The role of feedback in the formation of morphogen territories

  • Received: 01 October 2007 Accepted: 29 June 2018 Published: 01 March 2008
  • MSC : Primary: 93B07; Secondary:35K57.

  • In this paper, we consider a mathematical model for the forma- tion of spatial morphogen territories of two key morphogens: Wingless (Wg) and Decapentaplegic (DPP), involved in leg development of Drosophila. We define a gene regulatory network (GRN) that utilizes autoactivation and cross- inhibition (modeled by Hill equations) to establish and maintain stable bound- aries of gene expression. By computational analysis we find that in the presence of a general activator, neither autoactivation, nor cross-inhibition alone are suf- ficient to maintain stable sharp boundaries of morphogen production in the leg disc. The minimal requirements for a self-organizing system are a coupled system of two morphogens in which the autoactivation and cross-inhibition have Hill coefficients strictly greater than one. In addition, the GRN modeled here describes the regenerative responses to genetic manipulations of positional identity in the leg disc.

    Citation: David Iron, Adeela Syed, Heidi Theisen, Tamas Lukacsovich, Mehrangiz Naghibi, Lawrence J. Marsh, Frederic Y. M. Wan, Qing Nie. The role of feedback in the formation of morphogen territories[J]. Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, 2008, 5(2): 277-298. doi: 10.3934/mbe.2008.5.277

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  • In this paper, we consider a mathematical model for the forma- tion of spatial morphogen territories of two key morphogens: Wingless (Wg) and Decapentaplegic (DPP), involved in leg development of Drosophila. We define a gene regulatory network (GRN) that utilizes autoactivation and cross- inhibition (modeled by Hill equations) to establish and maintain stable bound- aries of gene expression. By computational analysis we find that in the presence of a general activator, neither autoactivation, nor cross-inhibition alone are suf- ficient to maintain stable sharp boundaries of morphogen production in the leg disc. The minimal requirements for a self-organizing system are a coupled system of two morphogens in which the autoactivation and cross-inhibition have Hill coefficients strictly greater than one. In addition, the GRN modeled here describes the regenerative responses to genetic manipulations of positional identity in the leg disc.
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    © 2008 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)
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