A novel functional activator of the Drosophila JAK/STAT pathway, unpaired2, is revealed by an in vivo reporter of pathway activation


Striking similarities continue to emerge between the mammalian and Drosophila JAK/STAT signaling pathway. However, until now there has not been the ability to monitor global pathway activity during development. We have generated a transgenic animal with a JAK/STAT responsive reporter gene that can be used to monitor pathway activation in whole Drosophila embryos. Expression of the lacZ reporter regulated by STAT92E binding sites can be detected throughout embryogenesis, and is responsive to the Janus Kinase hopscotch and the ligand upd. The system has enabled us to identify the effect of a predicted gene related to upd, designated upd2, whose expression initiates during germ band extension. The stimulatory effect of upd2 on the JAK/STAT reporter can also be demonstrated in Drosophila tissue culture cells. This reporter system will benefit future investigations of JAK/STAT signaling modulators both in whole animals and tissue culture.

Document Type





STAT, JAK, signal transduction, embryogenesis, unpaired, gene expression, transgene

Publication Date


Journal Title

Mechanisms of development