Vertebrate homologs of Drosophila suppressor of fused interact with the gli family of transcriptional regulators.
The hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is crucial for pattern formation during metazoan development. Although originially characterized in Drosophila, vertebrate homologs have been identified for several, but not all, genes in the pathway. Analysis of mutants in Drosophila demonstrates that Suppressor of fused [Su(fu)] interacts genetically with genes encoding proteins in the Hh signal transduction pathway, and its protein product physically interacts with two of the proteins in the Hh pathway. We report here the molecular cloning and characterization of chicken and mouse homologs of Su(fu). The chick and mouse proteins are 27% identical and 53% similar at the amino acid level to the Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila virilis proteins. Vertebrate Su(fu) is widely expressed in the developing embryo with higher levels in tissues that are known to be patterned by Hh signaling. The chick Su(fu) protein can physically interact with factors known to function in Hh signal transduction including the Drosophila serine/threonine kinase, Fused, and the vertebrate transcriptional regulators Gli1 and Gli3. This interaction may be significant for transcriptional regulation, as recombinant Su(fu) enhances the ability of Gli proteins to bind DNA in electrophoretic mobility shift assays.
PubMed ID: 10433824
PMC ID: PMC4530617
Article link: Dev Biol.
Grant support: Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Genes referenced: gli1 gli3 shh