Nikolai Kirov

Learn More
The activation of MAPKs is controlled by the balance between MAPK kinase and MAPK phosphatase activities. The latter is mediated by a subset of phosphatases with dual specificity (VH-1 family). Here, we describe a new member of this family encoded by the puckered gene of Drosophila. Mutations in this gene lead to cytoskeletal defects that result in a(More)
decapentaplegic (dpp), a Drosophila member of the TGFbeta family of secreted molecules, functions as a long-range morphogen in patterning of the embryo and the adult appendages. Dpp signals via the SMAD proteins Mad and Medea. Here we show that in the absence of brinker (brk), Mad is not required for the activation of Dpp target genes that depend on low(More)
In all animals, the initial events of embryogenesis are controlled by maternal gene products that are deposited into the developing oocyte. At some point after fertilization, control of embryogenesis is transferred to the zygotic genome in a process called the maternal-to-zygotic transition. During this time, many maternal RNAs are degraded and(More)
The establishment of expression domains of developmentally regulated genes depends on cues provided by different concentrations of transcriptional activators and repressors. Here we analyze the regulation of the Drosophila gene zen, which is a target of the Decapentaplegic (Dpp) signaling pathway during cellular blastoderm formation. We show that low levels(More)
In past years, much attention has focused on the gene networks that regulate early developmental processes, but less attention has been paid to how multiple networks and processes are temporally coordinated. Recently the discovery of the transcriptional activator Zelda (Zld), which binds to CAGGTAG and related sequences present in the enhancers of many(More)
Gradients of morphogens determine cell fates by specifying discrete thresholds of gene activities. In the Drosophila embryo, a BMP gradient subdivides the dorsal ectoderm into amnioserosa and dorsal epidermis, and also inhibits neuroectoderm formation. A number of genes are differentially expressed in response to the gradient, but how their borders of(More)
The dorsal (dl) protein gradient determines patterns of gene expression along the dorsal-ventral axis of the Drosophila embryo. dl protein is at peak levels in ventral nuclei of the embryo where it activates some genes (twist and snail) and represses others [zerknullt (zen), decapentaplegic and tolloid]. It is a member of the rel family of transcription(More)
Zygotic genome activation (ZGA) is a major genome programming event whereby the cells of the embryo begin to adopt specified fates. Experiments in Drosophila and zebrafish have revealed that ZGA depends on transcription factors that provide large-scale control of gene expression by direct and specific binding to gene regulatory sequences. Zelda (Zld) plays(More)
The dorsal protein (DL) regulates the transcriptional activity of several genes that determine cell fate along the dorsoventral axis of the Drosophila melanogaster embryo. DL is present at high levels in ventral nuclei, where it activates some genes (twi and sna) and represses others (zen, dpp, and tld). DL shows homology to the Rel family of proteins and(More)
Morphogen gradients determine a range of cell fates by specifying multiple transcriptional threshold responses. In the dorsal ectoderm of the Drosophila embryo, a BMP gradient is translated into an activated Smad transcription factor gradient, which elicits at least three threshold responses - high, intermediate and low. However, the mechanism underlying(More)