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Coactivation of STAT and Ras is required for germ cell proliferation and invasive migration in Drosophila.

Li J., Xia F., Li W.X.

Primordial germ cells (PGCs) undergo proliferation, invasion, guided migration, and aggregation to form the gonad. Here we show that in Drosophila, the receptor tyrosine kinase Torso activates both STAT and Ras during the early phase of PGC development, and coactivation of STAT and Ras is required for PGC proliferation and invasive migration. Embryos mutant for stat92E or Ras1 have fewer PGCs, and these cells migrate slowly, errantly, and fail to coalesce. Conversely, overactivation of these molecules causes supernumerary PGCs, their premature transit through the gut epithelium, and ectopic colonization. A requirement for RTK in Drosophila PGC development is analogous to the mouse, in which the RTK c-kit is required, suggesting a conserved molecular mechanism governing PGC behavior in flies and mammals.

Dev. Cell 5:787-798(2003) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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