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Planar polarity and actin dynamics in the epidermis of Drosophila.

Dorsal closure is a morphogenetic process involving the coordinated convergence of two epithelial sheets to enclose the Drosophila melanogaster embryo. Specialized populations of cells at the edges of each epithelial sheet, the dorsal-most epidermal cells, emit actin-based processes that are essential for the proper enclosure of the embryo. Here we show that actin dynamics at the leading edge is preceded by a planar polarization of the dorsal-most epidermal cells associated with a reorganization of the cytoskeleton. An important consequence of this planar polarization is the formation of actin-nucleating centres at the leading edge, which are important in the dynamics of actin. We show that Wingless (Wg) signalling and Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) signalling have overlapping but different roles in these events.

Pubmed ID: 12447392


  • Kaltschmidt JA
  • Lawrence N
  • Morel V
  • Balayo T
  • Fern├índez BG
  • Pelissier A
  • Jacinto A
  • Martinez Arias A


Nature cell biology

Publication Data

December 3, 2002

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Actins
  • Animals
  • Cell Polarity
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Epidermis
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • Morphogenesis
  • Mutation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wnt1 Protein