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.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch, however this is not currently a free service.