In a recent publication, we identified a novel F-box protein, encoded by fates-shifted (fsd), that plays a role in targeting Bcd for ubiquitination and degradation. Our analysis of mutant Drosophila embryos suggests that Bcd protein degradation is important for proper gradient formation and developmental fate specification. Here we describe further experiments that lead to an estimate of Bcd half-life, <15 min, in embryos during the time of gradient formation. We use our findings to evaluate different models of Bcd gradient formation. With this new estimate, we simulate the Bcd gradient formation process in our own biologically realistic 2-D model. Finally, we discuss the role of Bcd-encoded positional information in controlling the positioning and precision of developmental decisions.
J Liu, J Ma. Fates-shifted is an F-box protein that targets Bicoid for degradation and regulates developmental fate determination in Drosophila embryos. Nat Cell Biol 2011; 13: 22- 9.
PMID: 21170036 DOI: 10.1038/ncb2141