Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 5227m.barkoulas




607Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {van, Zon JS and Kienle, S and Huelsz-Prince, G and Barkoulas, M and van, Oudenaarden A},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms8053},
journal = {Nature Communications},
pages = {7053--7053},
title = {Cells change their sensitivity to an EGF morphogen gradient to control EGF-induced gene expression.},
url = {},
volume = {6},
year = {2015}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - How cells in developing organisms interpret the quantitative information contained in morphogen gradients is an open question. Here we address this question using a novel integrative approach that combines quantitative measurements of morphogen-induced gene expression at single-mRNA resolution with mathematical modelling of the induction process. We focus on the induction of Notch ligands by the LIN-3/EGF morphogen gradient during vulva induction in Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that LIN-3/EGF-induced Notch ligand expression is highly dynamic, exhibiting an abrupt transition from low to high expression. Similar transitions in Notch ligand expression are observed in two highly divergent wild C. elegans isolates. Mathematical modelling and experiments show that this transition is driven by a dynamic increase in the sensitivity of the induced cells to external LIN-3/EGF. Furthermore, this increase in sensitivity is independent of the presence of LIN-3/EGF. Our integrative approach might be useful to study induction by morphogen gradients in other systems.
AU - van,Zon JS
AU - Kienle,S
AU - Huelsz-Prince,G
AU - Barkoulas,M
AU - van,Oudenaarden A
DO - 10.1038/ncomms8053
EP - 7053
PY - 2015///
SN - 2041-1723
SP - 7053
TI - Cells change their sensitivity to an EGF morphogen gradient to control EGF-induced gene expression.
T2 - Nature Communications
UR -
UR -
VL - 6
ER -