We have cloned a novel SOCS gene from Drosophila, socs36E, which is most homologous to the mammalian socs-5 gene. Socs36E is expressed zygotically, predominantly during embryogenesis, in a highly dynamic pattern. In vivo expression of SOCS36E in transgenic flies results in several adult phenotypes. Engrailed-GAL4 directed expression causes loss of the wing anterior cross vein, humeral outgrowths, absence of halteres and eye pigmentation defects. Expression of SOCS36E under apterous-GAL4 control resulted in outstretched wings. Full penetrance of these phenotypes required the presence of the SH2 and SOCS-box domains of SOCS36E. The observed phenotypes were consistent with defects in JAK/STAT or EGF-R signalling and were exacerbated in flies heterozygous for either the d-jak (hopscotch), d-stat (stat92E) or d-egf-r (der) genes. Conversely, inactivating one copy of the d-cbl gene, a negative regulator of the d-EGF-R, partially rescued the wing phenotypes. These genetic interactions imply that SOCS36E can suppress activities of the JAK/STAT and EGF-R signalling pathways in the wing disc and suggest that SOCS36E interacts with multiple pathways in vivo.
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