Activation of knot(kn) specifies the 3-4 intervein region in the Drosophila wing

Jym Mohler, Maria Seecoomar, Shradha Agarwal, Ethan Bier, Jennifer Hsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Hedgehog (Hh) plays an important role in Drosophila wing patterning by inducing expression of Dpp, which serves to organize the wing globally across the A-P axis. We show here how Hh signalling also plays a direct role in patterning the medial wing through the activation of the Hh-target gene, knot (kn). kn is expressed in Hh-responsive cells near the A-P compartment boundary, where its expression is dependent on fu, a component of Hh signalling. kn is required for the proper positioning of veins 3 and 4 and to prevent ectopic venation between them. Furthermore, the expansion anteriorly of the normal kn expression domain causes an associated anterior shift in the position of vein 3 in the resultant wing. Ectopic expression of kn elsewhere in the wing imaginal disc results in the failure to properly activate the vein initiation genes, rho and Dl. Expression of the gene encoding the EGF-receptor (EGFR), which is required for vein initiation and subsequent differentiation, is normally depressed in the 3-4 intervein region. This downregulation of EGFR in the medial portion of the imaginal disc is dependent on kn activity and ectopic expression of kn inactivates EGFR elsewhere in the wing primordium. We propose kn expression in Hh-responsive cells of the wing blade anlagen during the late third instar creates a zone of cells in the medial wing in which vein primordia cannot be induced. The primordia for veins 3 and 4 are laid down adjacent to the kn-imposed vein-free zone, presumably by a signalling factor (such as Vn) also synthesized in the medial region of the wing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Drosophila
  • EGF-receptor
  • Hh signalling
  • Wing vein
  • knot (kn)


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