Multiple feedback loops achieve robust localization of wingless expression in Drosophila notum development

Ken ichi Hironaka, Yoh Iwasa, Yoshihiro Morishita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Organ morphogenesis starts with the spatial patterning of different gene expressions in organ primordia, which is based on positional information provided by morphogens. To generate precise positional information, the robust localization of morphogen sources is needed. This can be realized by several different mechanisms, such as (i) by reducing the variations in spatial arrangement of morphogen sources, (ii) by reducing the variations in their source levels, and (iii) by increasing the degree of source localization with the sharp boundary that makes morphogen gradients steeper. Here we focus on the mechanism of localization of wingless expression, one of the important morphogens in Drosophila notum development. The mechanism of wingless-localization can be explained by a simple feed-forward loop network motif, but the real molecular network adopted by the organism is much more complex; it includes multiple feedback loops that function with the feed-forward loop in a coordinated manner. To clarify the functions of the molecular network, we decompose it into three sub-modules, each of which includes a single feedback loop, and examine their possible roles using a mathematical model. We demonstrate how the regulatory network for wingless expression realizes the conditions (i)-(iii) for its robust localization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-29
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 7 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiple feedback loops achieve robust localization of wingless expression in Drosophila notum development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this