TitlePattern formation by dynamically interacting network motifs.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsLembong, J, Yakoby, N, Shvartsman, SY
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Date Published2009 Mar 3
KeywordsAnimals, Body Patterning, Drosophila melanogaster, Embryo, Nonmammalian, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Models, Biological, Mutation

Systematic validation of pattern formation mechanisms revealed by molecular studies of development is essentially impossible without mathematical models. Models can provide a compact summary of a large number of experiments that led to mechanism formulation and guide future studies of pattern formation. Here, we realize this program by analyzing a mathematical model of epithelial patterning by the highly conserved EGFR and BMP signaling pathways in Drosophila oogenesis. The model accounts for the dynamic interaction of the feedforward and feedback network motifs that control the expression of Broad, a zinc finger transcription factor expressed in the cells that form the upper part of the respiratory eggshell appendages. Based on the combination of computational analysis and genetic experiments, we show that the model accounts for the key features of wild-type pattern formation, correctly predicts patterning defects in multiple mutants, and guides the identification of additional regulatory links in a complex pattern formation mechanism.

Alternate JournalProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.