Ben-Zion Shilo

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Developmental patterning relies on morphogen gradients, which generally involve feedback loops to buffer against perturbations caused by fluctuations in gene dosage and expression. Although many gene components involved in such feedback loops have been identified, how they work together to generate a robust pattern remains unclear. Here we study the network(More)
The embryonic tracheal system in Drosophila develops from placodes of precursor cells on the ectoderm. A transcription factor of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH)-PAS family, which is expressed in the nuclei of the tracheal cells throughout development, was identified. The protein shows the highest degree of homology to the Single-minded (Sim) protein. The(More)
Trophic mechanisms in which neighboring cells mutually control their survival by secreting extracellular factors play an important role in determining cell number. However, how trophic signaling suppresses cell death is still poorly understood. We now show that the survival of a subset of midline glia cells in Drosophila depends upon direct suppression of(More)
Morphogen gradients provide long-range positional information by extending across a developing field. To ensure reproducible patterning, their profile is invariable despite genetic or environmental fluctuations. Common models assume a morphogen profile that decays exponentially. Here, we show that exponential profiles cannot, at the same time, buffer(More)
Photoreceptor axons arriving in the Drosophila brain organize their postsynaptic target field into a precise array of five neuron "cartridge" ensembles. Here we show that Hedgehog, an initial inductive signal transported along retinal axons from the developing eye, induces postsynaptic precursor cells to express the Drosophila homolog of the epidermal(More)
Sprouty was originally identified as an inhibitor of Drosophila FGF receptor signaling during tracheal development. By following the capacity of ectopic Sprouty to abolish the pattern of activated MAP kinase in embryos, we show that Sprouty can inhibit other receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling pathways, namely the Heartless FGF receptor and the EGF(More)
DFGF-R1 (breathless), a Drosophila FGF receptor homolog, is required for the migration of tracheal cells and the posterior midline glial cells during embryonic development. To define the role of this receptor in cell migration, we have monitored the biological effects of a deregulated receptor containing the extracellular and transmembrane regions of the(More)
In 1997 we wrote a review entitled "A thousand and one roles for the Drosophila epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (DER/EGFR)." We are not there yet in terms of the number of developmental roles assigned to this receptor in Drosophila. Nevertheless, DER has certainly emerged as one of the key players in development, since it is used repeatedly to direct(More)
In groundbreaking experiments, Hans Spemann demonstrated that the dorsal part of the amphibian embryo can generate a well-proportioned tadpole, and that a small group of dorsal cells, the 'organizer', can induce a complete and well-proportioned twinned axis when transplanted into a host embryo. Key to organizer function is the localized secretion of(More)
Formation of syncytial muscle fibers involves repeated rounds of cell fusion between growing myotubes and neighboring myoblasts. We have established that Wsp, the Drosophila homolog of the WASp family of microfilament nucleation-promoting factors, is an essential facilitator of myoblast fusion in Drosophila embryos. D-WIP, a homolog of the conserved(More)