Journal article

Embryonic expression and activity of doughnut, a second RYK homolog in Drosophila

In the Drosophila embryo, a subset of muscles require expression and function of the RYK subfamily RTK gene derailed (drl) for correct attachment. We have isolated a second RYK homolog, doughnut (dnt), from Drosophila. The DNT protein exhibits 60% amino acid identity to DRL, and is structurally as similar to the mammalian RYK proteins as is DRL, indicating an ancient duplication event. dnt is expressed in dynamic patterns in the embryonic epidermis, being found at high level in epithelia adjacent to cells that are invaginating into the interior of the embryo, including ventral furrow, cephalic furrow, fore- and hindgut, optic lobe and tracheal pits. dnt is capable of a partial rescue of the muscle attachment defect of drl(-/-) embryos, indicating that it encodes a receptor with a related and significantly overlapping biochemical function.


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