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Fates-shifted is an F-box protein that targets Bicoid for degradation and regulates developmental fate determination in Drosophila embryos.

Bicoid (Bcd) is a morphogenetic protein that instructs patterning along the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis in Drosophila melanogaster embryos. Despite extensive studies, what controls the formation of a normal concentration gradient of Bcd remains an unresolved and controversial question. Here, we show that Bcd protein degradation is mediated by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. We have identified an F-box protein, encoded by fates-shifted (fsd), that has an important role in Bcd protein degradation by targeting it for ubiquitylation. Embryos from females lacking fsd have an altered Bcd gradient profile, resulting in a shift of the fatemap along the A-P axis. Our study is an experimental demonstration that, contrary to an alternative hypothesis, Bcd protein degradation is required for normal gradient formation and developmental fate determination.

Pubmed ID: 21170036


  • Liu J
  • Ma J


Nature cell biology

Publication Data

January 21, 2011

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM072812
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM072812-04

Mesh Terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Line
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • F-Box Proteins
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Leupeptins
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Proteasome Inhibitors
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA Interference
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Trans-Activators
  • Ubiquitin