Philip A Beachy

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Targeted gene disruption in the mouse shows that the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) gene plays a critical role in patterning of vertebrate embryonic tissues, including the brain and spinal cord, the axial skeleton and the limbs. Early defects are observed in the establishment or maintenance of midline structures, such as the notochord and the floorplate, and later(More)
Ci/Gli zinc finger proteins mediate the transcriptional effects of Hedgehog protein signals. In Drosophila, Ci action as transcriptional repressor or activator is contingent upon Hedgehog-regulated, PKA-dependent proteolytic processing. We demonstrate that PKA-dependent processing of vertebrate Gli3 in developing limb similarly generates a potent repressor(More)
The steroidal alkaloid cyclopamine has both teratogenic and antitumor activities arising from its ability to specifically block cellular responses to vertebrate Hedgehog signaling. We show here, using photoaffinity and fluorescent derivatives, that this inhibitory effect is mediated by direct binding of cyclopamine to the heptahelical bundle of Smoothened(More)
Basal cell carcinoma, medulloblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and other human tumours are associated with mutations that activate the proto-oncogene Smoothened (SMO) or that inactivate the tumour suppressor Patched (PTCH). Smoothened and Patched mediate the cellular response to the Hedgehog (Hh) secreted protein signal, and oncogenic mutations affecting these(More)
Cell-type specification in the Drosophila compound eye begins at the morphogenetic furrow. The furrow sweeps across the developing eye epithelium and is coincident with four classes of cellular events: coordinated changes in cell shape, changes in gene expression, synchronization of the cell cycle, and the specification of a regular array of ommatidial(More)
Smoothened (Smo), a distant relative of G protein-coupled receptors, mediates Hedgehog (Hh) signaling during embryonic development and can initiate or transmit ligand-independent pathway activation in tumorigenesis. Although the cellular mechanisms that regulate Smo function remain unclear, the direct inhibition of Smo by cyclopamine, a plant-derived(More)
BACKGROUND The hedgehog (hh) family of secreted signaling proteins is responsible for developmental patterning in a variety of systems, including the neural tube, limbs and somites. Within the neural tube, at the level of the spinal cord, products of the vertebrate gene sonic hedgehog (shh) are proposed to function as a ventral patterning influence, with(More)
The segment polarity genes engrailed and wingless are expressed in neighboring stripes of cells on opposite sides of the Drosophila parasegment boundary. Each gene is mutually required for maintenance of the other's expression; continued expression of both also requires several other segment polarity genes. We show here that one such gene, hedgehog, encodes(More)
Mutations affecting the transmembrane proteins Patched (Ptc) or Smoothened (Smo) that trigger ligand-independent activity of the Hedgehog (Hh) signalling pathway are associated with human tumours such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and medulloblastoma. Despite extensive genetic studies demonstrating the importance of these receptor components in embryonic(More)
The differentiation of floor plate cells and motor neurons can be induced by Sonic hedgehog (SHH), a secreted signaling protein that undergoes autoproteolytic cleavage to generate amino- and carboxy-terminal products. We have found that both floor plate cells and motor neurons are induced by the amino-terminal cleavage product of SHH (SHH-N). The threshold(More)