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Stability of Morphogen Gradients & Movement of Molecules
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In my second lecture I describe experiments using EGFP tagged Bicoid to follow Bcd gradient establishment in living embryos, and to test various aspects of the simple model. Despite continuous synthesis of new Bcd protein at the anterior end of the egg, we find that the concentration of Bcd in nuclei at any given point along the anterior posterior axis is constant over time and is reproducible from embryo to the next. This reproducibility means that the gradient is sufficiently robust to provide positional information and thus can accurately direct gene activities. One the other hand, quantitative imaging experiments point to several features of the gradient that are hard to explain - how target genes activated by Bcd distinguish relatively subtle differences in low concentrations, and how Bcd molecules move from the anterior site of their synthesis to the site of their transcriptional activity. See more at http://www.ibioseminars.org
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