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

Biochemical analysis of torso and D-raf during Drosophila embryogenesis: implications for terminal signal transduction.

Determination of anterior and posterior terminal structures of Drosophila embryos requires activation of two genes encoding putative protein kinases, torso and D-raf. In this study, we demonstrate that Torso has intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity and show that it is transiently tyrosine phosphorylated (activated) at syncytial blastoderm stages. Torso proteins causing a gain-of-function phenotype are constitutively tyrosine phosphorylated, while Torso proteins causing a loss-of- function phenotype lack tyrosine kinase activity. The D-raf gene product, which is required for Torso function, is identified as a 90-kDa protein with intrinsic serine/threonine kinase activity. D-Raf is expressed throughout embryogenesis; however, the phosphorylation state of the protein changes during development. In wild-type embryos, D-Raf is hyperphosphorylated at 1 to 2 h after egg laying, and thereafter only the most highly phosphorylated form is detected. Embryos lacking Torso activity, however, show significant reductions in D-Raf protein expression rather than major alterations in the protein's phosphorylation state. This report provides the first biochemical analysis of the terminal signal transduction pathway in Drosophila embryos.[1]


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