Ras pathway specificity is determined by the integration of multiple signal-activated and tissue-restricted transcription factors.
Ras signaling elicits diverse outputs, yet how Ras specificity is generated remains incompletely understood. We demonstrate that Wingless (Wg) and Decapentaplegic (Dpp) confer competence for receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated induction of a subset of Drosophila muscle and cardiac progenitors by acting both upstream of and in parallel to Ras. In addition to regulating the expression of proximal Ras pathway components, Wg and Dpp coordinate the direct effects of three signal-activated (dTCF, Mad, and Pointed-functioning in the Wg, Dpp, and Ras/MAPK pathways, respectively) and two tissue-restricted (Twist and Tinman) transcription factors on a progenitor identity gene enhancer. The integration of Pointed with the combinatorial effects of dTCF, Mad, Twist, and Tinman determines inductive Ras signaling specificity in muscle and heart development.
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