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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
Gene Review

shn  -  schnurri

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: BEST:SD06302, CG7734, Dmel\CG7734, EP(2)2359, EP2359, ...
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High impact information on shn

  • Genetic epistasis experiments indicate that shn functions downstream of the dpp signal and its receptors [1].
  • The shn gene encodes a large protein similar to a family of mammalian zinc finger transcription factors [1].
  • Thus, brk inhibition by Shn results in the upregulation of Dpp-responsive genes [2].
  • Our results suggest that vertebrate Shn proteins function in Bmp signal transduction, and that Shn proteins recruit coactivators and co-repressors in a context-dependent manner, rather than acting as dedicated activators or repressors [2].
  • The zinc-finger transcription factor Schnurri (Shn) has been implicated as a co-factor for Mad, based on its DNA-binding ability and evidence of signaling dependent interactions between the two proteins [3].

Biological context of shn

  • We demonstrate that loss of shn activity affects anterior-posterior patterning and cell proliferation in the wing blade, in a manner that reflects the graded requirement for Dpp in these processes [4].
  • In this study we investigated the role of the zinc finger transcription factor Schnurri (Shn) in mediating the nuclear response to Dpp during adult patterning [4].
  • We find that during embryogenesis, brk expression is derepressed in shn mutants [3].
  • Several Dpp target genes are expressed at intermediate levels in double mutant embryos, demonstrating that shn also provides a brk-independent positive input to gene activation [3].
  • The Shn-binding sites are relevant for in vivo expression, since mutations in these sites affect the ability of the enhancer to respond to Dpp [5].

Anatomical context of shn

  • Mutations in shn affect several developmental processes regulated by dpp including induction of visceral mesoderm cell fate, dorsal/ventral patterning of the lateral ectoderm and wing vein formation [6].
  • Mosaic analysis demonstrates that punt and schnurri act within somatic cyst cells that surround germ cells, rather than in germ cells [7].

Physical interactions of shn

  • Finally, we found that Shn interacts with Mad in a Dpp-dependent manner [8].

Regulatory relationships of shn

  • Furthermore, we find that shn is expressed in the pupal wing and plays a distinct role in mediating dpp-dependent vein differentiation at this stage [4].

Other interactions of shn

  • Our data are consistent with a model in which Shn acts as a cofactor for Mad [4].
  • punt and schnurri regulate a somatically derived signal that restricts proliferation of committed progenitors in the germline [7].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of shn

  • By screening for mutants in which daughter cells fail to stop dividing, we find that the TGF-beta signal transducers schnurri and punt are required to limit transient amplification of germ cells [7].
  • To examine the relative contribution of the two proteins in the regulation of endogenous Dpp target genes we developed a cell culture assay and show that Shn and Mad act synergistically to induce transcription [5].


  1. Schnurri is required for Drosophila Dpp signaling and encodes a zinc finger protein similar to the mammalian transcription factor PRDII-BF1. Grieder, N.C., Nellen, D., Burke, R., Basler, K., Affolter, M. Cell (1995) [Pubmed]
  2. Schnurri transcription factors from Drosophila and vertebrates can mediate Bmp signaling through a phylogenetically conserved mechanism. Yao, L.C., Blitz, I.L., Peiffer, D.A., Phin, S., Wang, Y., Ogata, S., Cho, K.W., Arora, K., Warrior, R. Development (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. The transcription factor Schnurri plays a dual role in mediating Dpp signaling during embryogenesis. Torres-Vazquez, J., Park, S., Warrior, R., Arora, K. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. schnurri is required for dpp-dependent patterning of the Drosophila wing. Torres-Vazquez, J., Warrior, R., Arora, K. Dev. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  5. The zinc finger protein schnurri acts as a Smad partner in mediating the transcriptional response to decapentaplegic. Dai, H., Hogan, C., Gopalakrishnan, B., Torres-Vazquez, J., Nguyen, M., Park, S., Raftery, L.A., Warrior, R., Arora, K. Dev. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. A Drosophila protein related to the human zinc finger transcription factor PRDII/MBPI/HIV-EP1 is required for dpp signaling. Staehling-Hampton, K., Laughon, A.S., Hoffmann, F.M. Development (1995) [Pubmed]
  7. punt and schnurri regulate a somatically derived signal that restricts proliferation of committed progenitors in the germline. Matunis, E., Tran, J., Gönczy, P., Caldwell, K., DiNardo, S. Development (1997) [Pubmed]
  8. Schnurri interacts with Mad in a Dpp-dependent manner. Udagawa, Y., Hanai, J., Tada, K., Grieder, N.C., Momoeda, M., Taketani, Y., Affolter, M., Kawabata, M., Miyazono, K. Genes Cells (2000) [Pubmed]
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