Sonic Hedgehog as a mediator of long-range signaling

John A. Goetz, Liza M. Suber, Xin Zeng, David J. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The ability of Hedgehog (Hh) proteins to exert their biological effects is regulated by a series of post-translational processes. These processes include an intramolecular cleavage, covalent addition of cholesterol and/or palmitate, and conversion into a multimeric freely diffusible form. The processing of Hh proteins affects their trafficking, potency, and ability to signal over many cell diameters. Accordingly, the loss of gene products required for these processes abrogates the Hh proteins' abilities to exert their effects, which can be long range, short range, or both. We review here recent evidence demonstrating that Hh proteins are directly responsible for their long-range biological effects. Additionally, we integrate both genetic and biochemical data to delineate a model illustrating how the unusual biochemistry of Hh family members may allow them to act as morphogens, signaling over both short and long distances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 11 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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