Making heads and tails of embryo development: lessons from the humble fruit fly—28 October 2015

Long-standing question has now been answered by researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging: how a growth factor in the fly embryo is controlled to determine where the head and tail form. Proteins usually responsible for the destruction of virally infected or cancerous cells in our immune system have been found to control the release from cells of a critical growth factor governing head and tail development in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster).  This may help explain how these perforin-like proteins function in human brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Lead author Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow Dr Travis Johnson says “These findings are significant and exciting as they suggest a completely new mechanism for how growth factor activity can be controlled.”

Media issued by Monash University

Image: (L to R) Dr Michelle Henstridge, Dr Travis Johnson and Associate Professor Coral Warr.
Image courtesy: Monash University

Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, October 28, 2015