Transgenic experiments in Drosophila have proven to be a useful tool aiding in the
determination of mammalian protein function. A CNS specific protein, dCORL is a
member of the Sno/Ski family. Sno acts as a switch between Dpp/dActivin signaling.
dCORL is involved in Dpp and dActivin signaling, but the two homologous mCORL
protein functions are unknown. Conducting transgenic experiments in the adult wings,
and third instar larval brains using mCORL1, mCORL2 and dCORL are used to provide
insight into the function of these proteins. These experiments show mCORL1 has a
different function from mCORL2 and dCORL when expressed in Drosophila. mCORL2
and dCORL have functional similarities that are likely conserved. Six amino acid
substitutions between mCORL1 and mCORL2/dCORL may be the reason for the
functional difference. The evolutionary implications of this research suggest the
conservation of a switch between Dpp/dActivin signaling that predates the divergence of
arthropods and vertebrates.
- Evolutionary Genetics of CORL Proteins