Institute of Molecular Entomology

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Institute of Molecular Entomology

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Araujo H.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Araujo H.,Institute of Molecular Entomology | Fontenele M.R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Fontenele M.R.,Institute of Molecular Entomology | And 2 more authors.
Genesis | Year: 2011

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) perform a variety of functions during development. Considering a single BMP, what enables its multiple roles in tissues of varied sizes and shapes? What regulates the spatial distribution and activity patterns of the BMP in these different developmental contexts? Some BMP functions require controlling spread of the BMP morphogen, while others require formation of localized, high concentration peaks of BMP activity. Here we review work in Drosophila that describes spatial regulation of the BMP encoded by decapentaplegic (dpp) indifferent developmental contexts. We concentrate on extracellular modulation of BMP function and discuss the mechanisms that generate concentrated peaks of Dpp activity, subdivide territories of different activity levels or regulate spread of the Dpp morphogen from a point source. We compare these findings with data from vertebrates and non-model organisms to discuss how changes in the regulation of Dpp distribution by extracellular modulators may lead to variability in dpp function in different species. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Berni M.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Berni M.,Institute of Molecular Entomology | Fontenele M.R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Fontenele M.R.,Institute of Molecular Entomology | And 16 more authors.
EvoDevo | Year: 2014

Background: Insect embryonic dorso-ventral patterning depends greatly on two pathways: the Toll pathway and the Bone Morphogenetic Protein pathway. While the relative contribution of each pathway has been investigated in holometabolous insects, their role has not been explored in insects with a hemimetabolous type of development. The hemimetabolous insect Rhodnius prolixus, an important vector of Chagas disease in the Americas, develops from an intermediate germ band and displays complex movements during katatrepsis that are not observed in other orders. However, little is known about the molecular events that regulate its embryogenesis. Here we investigate the expression and function of genes potentially involved in the initial patterning events that establish the embryonic dorso-ventral axis in this hemipteran. Results: We establish a staging system for early embryogenesis that allows us to correlate embryo morphology with gene expression profiles. Using this system, we investigate the role of Toll pathway genes during embryogenesis. Detailed analyses of gene expression throughout development, coupled with functional analyses using parental RNA interference, revealed that maternal Toll is required to establish germ layers along the dorso-ventral axis and for embryo placement along the anterior-posterior axis. Interestingly, knockdown of the Toll pathway effector Rp-dorsal appears to regulate the expression of the Bone Morphogenetic Protein antagonist Rp-short-gastrulation. Conclusions: Our results indicate that Toll signals are the initiating event in dorso-ventral patterning during Rhodnius embryogenesis, and this is the first report of a conserved role for Toll in a hemipteran. Furthermore, as Rp-dorsal RNA interference generates anteriorly misplaced embryos, our results indicate a novel role for Toll signals in establishment of the anterior-posterior axis in Rhodnius. © 2014 Berni et al.

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