Literature context: cad (RRID:AB_528120; 1:200), anti-Crumbs (RRID: AB_
Interplay between apicobasal cell polarity modules and the cytoskeleton is critical for differentiation and integrity of epithelia. However, this coordination is poorly understood at the level of gene regulation by transcription factors. Here, we establish the Drosophila activating transcription factor 3 (atf3) as a cell polarity response gene acting downstream of the membrane-associated Scribble polarity complex. Loss of the tumor suppressors Scribble or Dlg1 induces atf3 expression via aPKC but independent of Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling. Strikingly, removal of Atf3 from Dlg1 deficient cells restores polarized cytoarchitecture, levels and distribution of endosomal trafficking machinery, and differentiation. Conversely, excess Atf3 alters microtubule network, vesicular trafficking and the partition of polarity proteins along the apicobasal axis. Genomic and genetic approaches implicate Atf3 as a regulator of cytoskeleton organization and function, and identify Lamin C as one of its bona fide target genes. By affecting structural features and cell morphology, Atf3 functions in a manner distinct from other transcription factors operating downstream of disrupted cell polarity.
Literature context: dies Hybridoma Bank Cat# DCAD2; RRID:AB_528120 Chemicals, Peptides, and Recomb
During the initial stage of tumor progression, oncogenic cells spread despite spatial confinement imposed by surrounding normal tissue. This spread of oncogenic cells (winners) is thought to be governed by selective killing of surrounding normal cells (losers) through a phenomenon called "cell competition" (i.e., supercompetition). Although the mechanisms underlying loser elimination are increasingly apparent, it is not clear how winner cells selectively occupy the space made available following loser apoptosis. Here, we combined live imaging analyses of two different oncogenic clones (Yki/YAP activation and Ras activation) in the Drosophila epithelium with computer simulation of tissue mechanics to elucidate such a mechanism. Contrary to the previous expectation that cell volume loss after apoptosis of loser cells was simply compensated for by the faster proliferation of winner cells, we found that the lost volume was compensated for by rapid cell expansion of winners. Mechanistically, the rapid winner-dominated cell expansion was driven by apoptosis-induced epithelial junction remodeling, which causes re-connection of local cellular connectivity (cell topology) in a manner that selectively increases winner apical surface area. In silico experiments further confirmed that repetition of loser elimination accelerates tissue-scale winner expansion through topological changes over time. Our proposed mechanism for linking loser death and winner expansion provides a new perspective on how tissue homeostasis disruption can initiate from an oncogenic mutation.
Literature context: DSHB Cat# DCAD2, RRID:AB_528120 Rabbit polyclonal anti-Zip F. M
The dynamics of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling underlies its versatile functions in cell differentiation, cell proliferation, and cell motility. Classical studies in Drosophila established that a gradient of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-ERK signaling is essential for these cellular responses. However, we challenge this view by the real-time monitoring of ERK activation; we show that a switch-like ERK activation is essential for the invagination movement of the Drosophila tracheal placode. This switch-like ERK activation stems from the positive feedback regulation of the EGFR-ERK signaling and a resultant relay of EGFR-ERK signaling among tracheal cells. A key transcription factor Trachealess (Trh) permissively regulates the iteration of the relay, and the ERK activation becomes graded in trh mutant. A mathematical model based on these observations and a molecular link between ERK activation dynamics and myosin shows that the relay mechanism efficiently promotes epithelial invagination while the gradient mechanism does not.
Literature context: dies Hybridoma Bank Cat# DCAD2, RRID:AB_528120 Rat monoclonal anti-Cadherin, D
Migrating cells penetrate tissue barriers during development, inflammatory responses, and tumor metastasis. We study if migration in vivo in such three-dimensionally confined environments requires changes in the mechanical properties of the surrounding cells using embryonic Drosophila melanogaster hemocytes, also called macrophages, as a model. We find that macrophage invasion into the germband through transient separation of the apposing ectoderm and mesoderm requires cell deformations and reductions in apical tension in the ectoderm. Interestingly, the genetic pathway governing these mechanical shifts acts downstream of the only known tumor necrosis factor superfamily member in Drosophila, Eiger, and its receptor, Grindelwald. Eiger-Grindelwald signaling reduces levels of active Myosin in the germband ectodermal cortex through the localization of a Crumbs complex component, Patj (Pals-1-associated tight junction protein). We therefore elucidate a distinct molecular pathway that controls tissue tension and demonstrate the importance of such regulation for invasive migration in vivo.
Literature context: SHB DCAD2, RRID:AB_528120), guinea pig anti-deadpan (1:50
Programmed cell death is a conserved strategy for neural development both in vertebrates and invertebrates and is recognized at various developmental stages in the brain from neurogenesis to adulthood. To understand the development of the central nervous system, it is essential to reveal not only molecular mechanisms but also the role of neural cell death (Pinto-Teixeira et al., 2016). To understand the role of cell death in neural development, we investigated the effect of inhibition of cell death on optic lobe development. Our data demonstrate that, in the optic lobe of Drosophila, cell death occurs in neural precursor cells and neurons before neurite formation and functions to prevent various developmental abnormalities. When neuronal cell death was inhibited by an effector caspase inhibitor, p35, multiple abnormal neuropil structures arose during optic lobe development-e.g., enlarged or fused neuropils, misrouted neurons and abnormal neurite lumps. Inhibition of cell death also induced morphogenetic defects in the lamina and medulla development-e.g., failures in the separation of the lamina and medulla cortices and the medulla rotation. These defects were reproduced in the mutant of an initiator caspase, dronc. If cell death was a mechanism for removing the abnormal neuropil structures, we would also expect to observe them in mutants defective for corpse clearance. However, they were not observed in these mutants. When dead cell-membranes were visualized with Apoliner, they were observed only in cortices and not in neuropils. These results suggest that the cell death occurs before mature neurite formation. Moreover, we found that inhibition of cell death induced ectopic neuroepithelial cells, neuroblasts and ganglion mother cells in late pupal stages, at sites where the outer and inner proliferation centers were located at earlier developmental stages. Caspase-3 activation was observed in the neuroepithelial cells and neuroblasts in the proliferation centers. These results indicate that cell death is required for elimination of the precursor cells composing the proliferation centers. This study substantiates an essential role of early neural cell death for ensuring normal development of the central nervous system.
Literature context: al Studies Hybridoma bank (DSHB)RRID: AB_528120Mouse monoclonal Î±-SCAR (clone P
Contractile forces eliminate cell contacts in many morphogenetic processes. However, mechanisms that balance contractile forces to promote subtler remodeling remain unknown. To address this gap, we investigated remodeling of Drosophila eye lattice cells (LCs), which preserve cell contacts as they narrow to form the edges of a multicellular hexagonal lattice. We found that during narrowing, LC-LC contacts dynamically constrict and expand. Similar to other systems, actomyosin-based contractile forces promote pulses of constriction. Conversely, we found that WAVE-dependent branched F-actin accumulates at LC-LC contacts during expansion and functions to expand the cell apical area, promote shape changes, and prevent elimination of LC-LC contacts. Finally, we found that small Rho GTPases regulate the balance of contractile and protrusive dynamics. These data suggest a mechanism by which WAVE regulatory complex-based F-actin dynamics antagonize contractile forces to regulate cell shape and tissue topology during remodeling and thus contribute to the robustness and precision of the process.
Literature context: AD2 (RRID:AB_528120, 1:30), mouse anti-MMP1 (three
The molecular mechanisms underlying the interdependence between intracellular trafficking and epithelial cell polarity are poorly understood. Here we show that inactivation of class III phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (CIII-PI3K), which produces phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PtdIns3P) on endosomes, disrupts epithelial organization. This is caused by dysregulation of endosomally localized Liver Kinase B1 (LKB1, also known as STK11), which shows delocalized and increased activity accompanied by dysplasia-like growth and invasive behaviour of cells provoked by JNK pathway activation. CIII-PI3K inactivation cooperates with RasV12 to promote tumour growth in vivo in an LKB1-dependent manner. Strikingly, co-depletion of LKB1 reverts these phenotypes and restores epithelial integrity. The endosomal, but not autophagic, function of CIII-PI3K controls polarity. We identify the CIII-PI3K effector, WD repeat and FYVE domain-containing 2 (WDFY2), as an LKB1 regulator in Drosophila tissues and human organoids. Thus, we define a CIII-PI3K-regulated endosomal signalling platform from which LKB1 directs epithelial polarity, the dysregulation of which endows LKB1 with tumour-promoting properties.
Literature context: ies Hybridoma Bankantibody name DCAD2goat anti-guinea pig Alexa Fluor
In response to a pulling force, a material can elongate, hold fast, or fracture. During animal development, multi-cellular contraction of one region often stretches neighboring tissue. Such local contraction occurs by induced actomyosin activity, but molecular mechanisms are unknown for regulating the physical properties of connected tissue for elongation under stress. We show that cytohesins, and their Arf small G protein guanine nucleotide exchange activity, are required for tissues to elongate under stress during both Drosophila dorsal closure (DC) and zebrafish epiboly. In Drosophila, protein localization, laser ablation, and genetic interaction studies indicate that the cytohesin Steppke reduces tissue tension by inhibiting actomyosin activity at adherens junctions. Without Steppke, embryogenesis fails, with epidermal distortions and tears resulting from myosin misregulation. Remarkably, actomyosin network assembly is necessary and sufficient for local Steppke accumulation, where live imaging shows Steppke recruitment within minutes. This rapid negative feedback loop provides a molecular mechanism for attenuating the main tension generator of animal tissues. Such attenuation relaxes tissues and allows orderly elongation under stress.
Literature context: D2, DSHB; RRID:AB_528120), mouse an
Polarity is a shared feature of most cells. In epithelia, apical-basal polarity often coexists, and sometimes intersects with planar cell polarity (PCP), which orients cells in the epithelial plane. From a limited set of core building blocks (e.g. the Par complexes for apical-basal polarity and the Frizzled/Dishevelled complex for PCP), a diverse array of polarized cells and tissues are generated. This suggests the existence of little-studied tissue-specific factors that rewire the core polarity modules to the appropriate conformation. In Drosophila sensory organ precursors (SOPs), the core PCP components initiate the planar polarization of apical-basal determinants, ensuring asymmetric division into daughter cells of different fates. We show that Meru, a RASSF9/RASSF10 homologue, is expressed specifically in SOPs, recruited to the posterior cortex by Frizzled/Dishevelled, and in turn polarizes the apical-basal polarity factor Bazooka (Par3). Thus, Meru belongs to a class of proteins that act cell/tissue-specifically to remodel the core polarity machinery.
Literature context: at# DCAD2 RRID:AB_528120) 1:20, mou
Adhesion molecules hold cells together but also couple cell membranes to a contractile actomyosin network, which limits the expansion of cell contacts. Despite their fundamental role in tissue morphogenesis and tissue homeostasis, how adhesion molecules control cell shapes and cell patterns in tissues remains unclear. Here we address this question in vivo using the Drosophila eye. We show that cone cell shapes depend little on adhesion bonds and mostly on contractile forces. However, N-cadherin has an indirect control on cell shape. At homotypic contacts, junctional N-cadherin bonds downregulate Myosin-II contractility. At heterotypic contacts with E-cadherin, unbound N-cadherin induces an asymmetric accumulation of Myosin-II, which leads to a highly contractile cell interface. Such differential regulation of contractility is essential for morphogenesis as loss of N-cadherin disrupts cell rearrangements. Our results establish a quantitative link between adhesion and contractility and reveal an unprecedented role of N-cadherin on cell shapes and cell arrangements.
Literature context: t# DCAD2; RRID:AB_528120 Mouse mono
Organ fitness depends on appropriate maintenance of stem cell populations, and aberrations in functional stem cell numbers are associated with malignancies and aging. Symmetrical division is the best characterized mechanism of stem cell replacement, but other mechanisms could also be deployed, particularly in situations of high stress. Here, we show that after severe depletion, intestinal stem cells (ISCs) in the Drosophila midgut are replaced by spindle-independent ploidy reduction of cells in the enterocyte lineage through a process known as amitosis. Amitosis is also induced by the functional loss of ISCs coupled with tissue demand and in aging flies, underscoring the generality of this mechanism. However, we also found that random homologous chromosome segregation during ploidy reduction can expose deleterious mutations through loss of heterozygosity. Together, our results highlight amitosis as an unappreciated mechanism for restoring stem cell homeostasis, but one with some associated risk in animals carrying mutations.
Literature context: at anti-Shg (RRID:AB_528120), mouse anti-Antp (AB_528082),
The Drosophila lymph gland is a hematopoietic organ in which the maintenance of hematopoietic progenitor cell fate relies on intrinsic factors and extensive interaction with cells within a microenvironment. The posterior signaling center (PSC) is required for maintaining the balance between progenitors and their differentiation into mature hemocytes. Moreover, some factors from the progenitors cell-autonomously control blood cell differentiation. Here, we show that Jumeau (Jumu), a member of the forkhead (Fkh) transcription factor family, controls hemocyte differentiation of lymph gland through multiple regulatory mechanisms. Jumu maintains the proper differentiation of prohemocytes by cell-autonomously regulating the expression of Col in medullary zone and by non-cell-autonomously preventing the generation of expanded PSC cells. Jumu can also cell-autonomously control the proliferation of PSC cells through positive regulation of dMyc expression. We also show that a deficiency of jumu throughout the lymph gland can induce the differentiation of lamellocytes via activating Toll signaling.
Literature context: B_528120; RRID:AB_528120 Mouse mono
The Hippo pathway is emerging as a key evolutionarily conserved signaling mechanism that controls organ size. Three membrane-associated proteins, Kibra, Merlin, and Expanded, regulate pathway activity, but the precise molecular mechanism by which they function is still poorly understood. Here we provide evidence that Merlin and Kibra activate Hippo signaling in parallel to Expanded at a spatially distinct cellular domain, the medial apical cortex. Merlin and Kibra together recruit the adapter protein Salvador, which in turn recruits the core kinase Hippo. In addition, we show that Crumbs has a dual effect on Hippo signaling. Crumbs promotes the ability of Expanded to activate the pathway but also sequesters Kibra to downregulate Hippo signaling. Together, our findings elucidate the mechanism of Hippo pathway activation by Merlin and Kibra, identify a subcellular domain for Hippo pathway regulation, and demonstrate differential activity of upstream regulators in different subcellular domains.
Intracellular pH (pHi) dynamics is increasingly recognized as an important regulator of a range of normal and pathological cell behaviors. Notably, increased pHi is now acknowledged as a conserved characteristic of cancers and in cell models is confirmed to increase proliferation and migration as well as limit apoptosis. However, the significance of increased pHi for cancer in vivo remains unresolved. Using Drosophila melanogaster, we show that increased pHi is sufficient to induce dysplasia in the absence of other transforming cues and potentiates growth and invasion with oncogenic Ras. Using a genetically encoded biosensor we also confirm increased pHi in situ. Moreover, in Drosophila models and clonal human mammary cells we show that limiting H(+) efflux with oncogenic Raf or Ras induces acidosis and synthetic lethality. Further, we show lethality in invasive primary tumor cell lines with inhibiting H(+) efflux. Synthetic lethality with reduced H(+) efflux and activated oncogene expression could be exploited therapeutically to restrain cancer progression while limiting off-target effects.
Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) are a group of tightly regulated enzymes that coordinate with protein tyrosine kinases to control protein phosphorylation during various cellular processes. Using genetic analysis in Drosophila non-transmembrane PTPs, we identified one role that Myopic (Mop), the Drosophila homolog of the human His domain phosphotyrosine phosphatase (HDPTP), plays in cell adhesion. Depletion of Mop results in aberrant integrin distribution and border cell dissociation during Drosophila oogenesis. Interestingly, Mop phosphatase activity is not required for its role in maintaining border cell cluster integrity. We further identified Rab4 GTPase as a Mop interactor in a yeast two-hybrid screen. Expression of the Rab4 dominant-negative mutant leads to border cell dissociation and suppression of Mop-induced wing-blade adhesion defects, suggesting a critical role of Rab4 in Mop-mediated signaling. In mammals, it has been shown that Rab4-dependent recycling of integrins is necessary for cell adhesion and migration. We found that human HDPTP regulates the spatial distribution of Rab4 and integrin trafficking. Depletion of HDPTP resulted in actin reorganization and increased cell motility. Together, our findings suggest an evolutionarily conserved function of HDPTP-Rab4 in the regulation of endocytic trafficking, cell adhesion and migration.
Secreted signaling molecules typically float in the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane or freely diffuse away from the signaling cell, suggesting that a signal should be sensed equally by all neighboring cells. However, we demonstrate that Spitz (Spi)-mediated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling is spatially biased to selectively determine the induction of a single bract cell on the proximal side of each mechanosensory organ on the Drosophila leg. Dynamic and oriented cellular protrusions emanating from the socket cell, the source of Spi, robustly favor the Spi/EGFR signaling response in a particular cell among equally competent neighbors. We propose that these protrusive structures enhance signaling by increasing contact between the signaling and responding cells. The planar polarized direction of the protrusions determines the direction of the signaling outcome. This asymmetric cell signaling serves as a developmental mechanism to generate spatially patterned cell fates.
When cells undergo apoptosis, they can stimulate the proliferation of nearby cells, a process referred to as compensatory cell proliferation. The stimulation of proliferation in response to tissue damage or removal is also central to epimorphic regeneration. The Hippo signaling pathway has emerged as an important regulator of growth during normal development and oncogenesis from Drosophila to humans. Here we show that induction of apoptosis in the Drosophila wing imaginal disc stimulates activation of the Hippo pathway transcription factor Yorkie in surviving and nearby cells, and that Yorkie is required for the ability of the wing to regenerate after genetic ablation of the wing primordia. Induction of apoptosis activates Yorkie through the Jun kinase pathway, and direct activation of Jun kinase signaling also promotes Yorkie activation in the wing disc. We also show that depletion of neoplastic tumor suppressor genes, including lethal giant larvae and discs large, or activation of aPKC, activates Yorkie through Jun kinase signaling, and that Jun kinase activation is necessary, but not sufficient, for the disruption of apical-basal polarity associated with loss of lethal giant larvae. Our observations identify Jnk signaling as a modulator of Hippo pathway activity in wing imaginal discs, and implicate Yorkie activation in compensatory cell proliferation and disc regeneration.
Grainy head (GRH) is a key transcription factor responsible for epidermal barrier formation and repair, whose function is highly conserved across diverse animal species. However, it is not known how GRH function is reactivated to repair differentiated epidermal barriers after wounding. Here, we show that GRH is directly regulated by extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, which is required for wound-dependent expression of GRH target genes in epidermal cells. Serine 91 is the principal residue in GRH that is phosphorylated by ERK. Although mutations of the ERK phosphorylation sites in GRH do not impair its DNA binding function, the ERK sites in GRH are required to activate Dopa decarboxylase (Ddc) and misshapen (msn) epidermal wound enhancers as well as functional regeneration of an epidermal barrier upon wounding. This result indicates that the phosphorylation sites are essential for damaged epidermal barrier repair. However, GRH with mutant ERK phosphorylation sites can still promote barrier formation during embryonic epidermal development, suggesting that ERK sites are dispensable for the GRH function in establishing epidermal barrier integrity. These results provide mechanistic insight into how tissue repair can be initiated by posttranslational modification of a key transcription factor that normally mediates the developmental generation of that tissue.
In the Drosophila ovary, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling activated by the niche promotes germline stem cell (GSC) self-renewal and proliferation, whereas E-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion anchors GSCs in the niche for their continuous self-renewal. Here we show that Lissencephaly-1 (Lis1) regulates BMP signaling and E-cadherin-mediated adhesion between GSCs and their niche and thereby controls GSC self-renewal. Lis1 mutant GSCs are lost faster than control GSCs because of differentiation but not because of cell death, indicating that Lis1 controls GSC self-renewal. The Lis1 mutant GSCs exhibit reduced BMP signaling activity, and Lis1 interacts genetically with the BMP pathway components in the regulation of GSC maintenance. Mechanistically, Lis1 binds directly to and stabilizes the SMAD protein Mothers against decapentaplegic (Mad), facilitates its phosphorylation, and thereby regulates BMP signaling. Finally, the Lis1 mutant GSCs accumulate less E-cadherin in the stem cell-niche junction than do their wild-type counterparts. Germline-specific expression of an activated BMP receptor thickveins (Tkv) or E-cadherin can partially rescue the loss phenotype of Lis1 mutant GSCs. Therefore, this study has revealed a role of Lis1 in the control of Drosophila ovarian GSC self-renewal, at least partly by regulating niche signal transduction and niche adhesion. It has been known that Lis1 controls neural precursor/stem cell proliferation in the developing mammalian brain; this study further suggests that Lis1, which is widely expressed in adult mammalian tissues, could regulate adult tissue stem cells through modulating niche signaling and adhesion.
Organogenesis proceeds in multiple steps and events that need to be coordinated in time and space. Yet the genetic and molecular control of such coordination remains poorly understood. In this study we have investigated the contribution of three signalling pathways, Wnt/Wingless (Wg), Hedgehog (Hh), and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), to posterior spiracle morphogenesis, an organ that forms under Abdominal-B (AbdB) control in the eighth abdominal segment. Using targeted signalling inactivation, we show that these pathways are reiteratively used to control multiple cellular events during posterior spiracle organogenesis, including cell survival and maintenance of cell polarity and adhesion required for tissue integrity. We propose that the reiterative use of the Wg, Hh, and EGFR signalling pathways serves to coordinate in time and space the sequential deployment of events that collectively allow proper organogenesis.
Human immune cells have to penetrate an endothelial barrier during their beneficial pursuit of infection and their destructive infiltration of tissues in autoimmune diseases. This transmigration requires Rap1 GTPase to activate integrin affinity. We define a new model system for this process by demonstrating, with live imaging and genetics, that during embryonic development Drosophila melanogaster immune cells penetrate an epithelial, Drosophila E-cadherin (DE-cadherin)-based tissue barrier. A mutant in RhoL, a GTPase homologue that is specifically expressed in haemocytes, blocks this invasive step but not other aspects of guided migration. RhoL mediates integrin adhesion caused by Drosophila Rap1 overexpression and moves Rap1 away from a concentration in the cytoplasm to the leading edge during invasive migration. These findings indicate that a programmed migratory step during Drosophila development bears striking molecular similarities to vertebrate immune cell transmigration during inflammation, and identify RhoL as a new regulator of invasion, adhesion and Rap1 localization. Our work establishes the utility of Drosophila for identifying novel components of immune cell transmigration and for understanding the in vivo interplay of immune cells with the barriers they penetrate.
Notch receptors mediate short-range signaling controlling many developmental decisions in metazoans. Activation of Notch requires the ubiquitin-dependent endocytosis of its ligand Delta. How ligand endocytosis in signal-sending cells regulates receptor activation in juxtaposed signal-receiving cells remains largely unknown. We show here that a pool of Delta localizes at the basolateral membrane of signal-sending sensory organ precursor cells in the dorsal thorax neuroepithelium of Drosophila and that Delta is endocytosed in a Neuralized-dependent manner from this basolateral membrane. This basolateral pool of Delta is segregated from Notch that accumulates apically. Using a compartimentalized antibody uptake assay, we show that murine Delta-like 1 is similarly internalized by mNeuralized2 from the basolateral membrane of polarized Madin-Darby canine kidney cells and that internalized ligands are transcytosed to the apical plasma membrane where mNotch1 accumulates. Thus, endocytosis of Delta by Neuralized relocalizes Delta from the basolateral to the apical membrane domain. We speculate that this Neuralized-dependent transcytosis regulates the signaling activity of Delta by relocalizing Delta from a membrane domain where it cannot interact with Notch to another membrane domain where it can bind and activate Notch.
Hakai is a RING finger type E3 ubiquitin ligase that is highly conserved in metazoans. Mammalian Hakai was shown to bind and ubiquitinate the intracellular domain of E-cadherin, and this activity is implicated in down-regulation of E-cadherin during v-Src-induced cellular transformation. To evaluate this model in vivo, we studied the function of the Drosophila homologue of Hakai. In cultured S2 cells, Drosophila Hakai and E-cadherin (Shotgun) formed a complex in a way distinct from the interaction described for mammalian counterparts. Hakai null mutants died during larval stages but this lethality could be offset by a HA-tagged Hakai construct. While zygotic Hakai function was dispensable for cell proliferation and differentiation in the wing disc epithelium, maternal Hakai mutants showed a variety of defects in epithelial integrity, including stochastic loss of E-cadherin expression and reduction of aPKC; defects in cell specification and cell migration were also observed. No increase of E-cadherin, however, was observed. Regulation of multiple target proteins under control of Hakai is, therefore, essential for early embryonic morphogenesis in Drosophila.
In Drosophila, Piwi (P-element-induced wimpy testis), which encodes a protein of the Argonaute family, is essential for germ stem cell self-renewal. Piwi has recently been shown to be a nuclear protein involved in gene silencing of retrotransposons and controlling their mobilization in the male germline. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of Piwi-dependent gene silencing. Here we show that endogenous Piwi immunopurified from ovary specifically associates with small RNAs of 25-29 nucleotides in length. Piwi-associated small RNAs were identified by cloning and sequencing as repeat-associated small interfering RNAs (rasiRNAs) derived from repetitive regions, such as retrotransposon and heterochromatic regions, in the Drosophila genome. Northern blot analyses revealed that in vivo Piwi does not associate with microRNAs (miRNAs) and that guide siRNA was not loaded onto Piwi when siRNA duplex was added to ovary lysate. In vitro, recombinant Piwi exhibits target RNA cleavage activity. These data together imply that Piwi functions in nuclear RNA silencing as Slicer by associating specifically with rasiRNAs originating from repetitive targets.
The E-Cadherin-catenin complex plays a critical role in epithelial cell-cell adhesion, polarization, and morphogenesis. Here, we have analyzed the mechanism of Drosophila E-Cadherin (DE-Cad) localization. Loss of function of the Drosophila exocyst components sec5, sec6, and sec15 in epithelial cells results in DE-Cad accumulation in an enlarged Rab11 recycling endosomal compartment and inhibits DE-Cad delivery to the membrane. Furthermore, Rab11 and Armadillo interact with the exocyst components Sec15 and Sec10, respectively. Our results support a model whereby the exocyst regulates DE-Cadherin trafficking, from recycling endosomes to sites on the epithelial cell membrane where Armadillo is located.
Homophilic cell adhesion mediated by classical cadherins is important for many developmental processes. Proteins that interact with the cytoplasmic domain of cadherin, in particular the catenins, are thought to regulate the strength and possibly the dynamics of adhesion. beta-catenin links cadherin to the actin cytoskeleton via alpha-catenin. The role of p120/delta-catenin proteins in regulating cadherin function is less clear. Both beta-catenin and p120/delta-catenin are conserved in Drosophila. Here, we address the importance of cadherin-catenin interactions in vivo, using mutant variants of Drosophila epithelial cadherin (DE-cadherin) that are selectively defective in p120ctn (DE-cadherin-AAA) or beta-catenin-armadillo (DE-cadherin-Delta beta) interactions. We have analyzed the ability of these proteins to substitute for endogenous DE-cadherin activity in multiple cadherin-dependent processes during Drosophila development and oogenesis; epithelial integrity, follicle cell sorting, oocyte positioning, as well as the dynamic adhesion required for border cell migration. As expected, DE-cadherin-Delta beta did not substitute for DE-cadherin in these processes, although it retained some residual activity. Surprisingly, DE-cadherin-AAA was able to substitute for the wild-type protein in all contexts with no detectable perturbations. Thus, interaction with p120/delta-catenin does not appear to be required for DE-cadherin function in vivo.
Classic cadherins, which are adhesion molecules in cell-cell adherens junctions, have a large contribution to the construction of the animal body. Their molecular structures show clear differences between chordate and nonchordate metazoans. Although nonchordate classic cadherins have cadherin superfamily-specific extracellular repeats (CRs) and a highly conserved cytoplasmic domain (CP), these cadherins have a unique extracellular domain that is absent from vertebrate and ascidian classic cadherins. We called this the primitive classic cadherin domain (PCCD). To understand the roles of the PCCD, we constructed and characterized a series of mutant forms of the Drosophila classic cadherin DE-cadherin. Biochemical analyses indicated that the last two CRs and PCCD form a special structure with proteolytic cleavage. Mutations in the PCCD did not eliminate the cell-cell-binding function of DE-cadherin in cultured cells, but prevented the cadherin from efficiently translocating to the plasma membrane in epithelial cells of the developing embryo. In addition, genetic rescue assays suggested that although CP-mediated control plays a central role in tracheal fusion, the role of the PCCD in efficient recruitment of DE-cadherin to apical areas of the plasma membranes is also important for dynamic epithelial morphogenesis. We propose that there is a fundamental difference in the mode of classic cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion between chordate and nonchordate metazoans.
The dishevelled (dsh) gene family encodes cytoplasmic proteins that have been implicated in Wnt/Wingless (Wg) signaling. To demonstrate functional conservation of Dsh family proteins, two mouse homologs of Drosophila Dsh, Dvl-1 and Dvl-2, were biochemically characterized in mouse and Drosophila cell culture systems. We found that treatment with a soluble Wnt-3A leads to hyperphosphorylation of Dvl proteins and a concomitant elevation of the cytoplasmic beta-catenin levels in mouse NIH3T3, L, and C57MG cells. This coincides well with our finding in a Drosophila wing disc cell line, clone-8, that Wg treatment induced hyperphosphorylation of Dsh (Yanagawa, S., van Leeuwen, F., Wodarz, A., Klingensmith, J., and Nusse, R. (1995) Genes Dev. 9, 1087-1097). Furthermore, we showed that mouse Dvl proteins affect downstream components of Drosophila Wg signaling as Dsh does; overexpression of Dvl proteins in clone-8 cells results in elevation of Armadillo (Drosophila homolog of beta-catenin) and Drosophila E-cadherin levels, hyperphosphorylation of Dvl proteins themselves, and inhibition of Zeste-White3 kinase-mediated phosphorylation of a microtubule-binding protein, Tau. In addition, casein kinase II was shown to coimmunoprecipitate with Dvl proteins, and Dvl proteins were phosphorylated in these immune complexes. These results are direct evidence that Dsh family proteins mediate a set of conserved biochemical processes in the Wnt/Wg signaling pathway.
Cell-cell adherens junctions (AJs), comprised of the cadherin-catenin adhesion system, contribute to cell shape changes and cell movements in epithelial morphogenesis. However, little is known about the dynamic features of AJs in cells of the developing embryo. In this study, we constructed Dalpha-catenin fused with a green fluorescent protein (Dalpha-catenin-GFP), and found that it targeted apically located AJ-based contacts but not other lateral contacts in epithelial cells of living Drosophila embryos. Using time-lapse fluorescence microscopy, we examined the dynamic performance of AJs containing Dalpha-catenin-GFP in epithelial morphogenetic movements. In the ventral ectoderm of stage 11 embryos, concentration and deconcentration of Dalpha-catenin-GFP occurred concomitantly with changes in length of AJ contacts. In the lateral ectoderm of embryos at the same stage, dynamic behaviour of AJs was concerted with division and delamination of sensory organ precursor (SOP) cells. Moreover, changes in patterns of AJ networks during tracheal extension could be followed. Finally, we utilized Dalpha-catenin-GFP to precisely observe the defects in tracheal fusion in shotgun mutants. Thus, the Dalpha-catenin-GFP fusion protein is a helpful tool to simultaneously observe morphogenetic movements and AJ dynamics at high spatio-temporal resolution.
We identified DN-cadherin, a novel Drosophila cadherin that is expressed in axons and in the mesoderm. Although DN-cadherin has diverged from vertebrate classic cadherins in terms of its extracellular structure, it still can form a complex with catenins and induce cell aggregation, as do the vertebrate molecules. Loss-of-function mutations of the gene resulted in either embryonic lethality or uncoordinated locomotion of adults. In the central nervous system of null mutant embryos, subsets of ipsilateral axons displayed a variety of aberrant trajectories including failure of position shifts, defective bundling, and errors in directional migration of growth cones. These results suggest that processes of axon patterning critically depend on DN-cadherin-mediated axon-axon interactions.
Dynamic epithelial reorganization is essential for morphogenesis of various organs. In Drosophila embryos, for example the Malpighian tubule is generated by cellular rearrangement of a preexisting epithelium and the tracheal network is formed by outgrowth, branching, and fusion of epithelial vesicles. Here we report that the previously identified locus shotgun (shg) encodes DE-cadherin, an epithelial cell-cell adhesion molecule of the classic cadherin type and that zygotic shg mutations rather specifically impair processes of the dynamic epithelial morphogenesis. In the mutants, the Malpighian tubule disintegrated into small spherical structures, and the tracheal network formation was blocked in selected steps. The malformation of these organs could be rescued by overexpression of DE-cadherin cDNA under a heat shock promoter. Unexpectedly, the zygotic null condition did not severely affect general epithelial organization; most epithelial tissues maintained not only their cell-cell associations but also their apicobasal polarity in the mutants. The zygotic null mutant retained a certain level of maternally derived DE-cadherin molecules until the end of embryogenesis. These results suggest that zygotic DE-cadherin expression is critical for the rearrangement processes of epithelial cells, whereas the maternally derived DE-cadherin may serve only for the maintenance of the static architecture of the epithelia.
We have identified a Drosophila homolog of vertebrate classic cadherins. A monoclonal antibody to Drosophila alpha-catenin (D alpha-catenin) copurifies a 150-kDa glycoprotein (gp150) along with the alpha-catenin. To further characterize this protein, we generated monoclonal antibodies to gp150 and isolated its cDNAs using the antibodies. Predicted sequences of the encoded product revealed that it is a transmembrane protein with similarity to vertebrate classic cadherins, and so we designated this molecule DE-cadherin. The extracellular domain has six cadherin-specific repeats, although the first repeat seems to be cleaved off upon maturation, and the cytoplasmic domain shows significant identity to that of vertebrate classic cadherins. DE-cadherin is distinguishable from its vertebrate counterparts by a large insertion with local sequence similarity to Fat, laminin A chain, Slit, and neurexin I at the proximal region of the extracellular domain. Despite such differences, DE-cadherin is functionally similar to vertebrate classic cadherins. For example, it is associated with alpha-catenin and beta-catenin (Armadillo), and protected from trypsin digestion only in the presence of Ca2+, as is the case for many of classic cadherins. Transfection of S2 cells with the DE-cadherin cDNA enhances their Ca(2+)-dependent cell aggregation. Antibodies to this molecule inhibited aggregation of not only the transfectants but also early embryonic cells. DE-cadherin is concentrated at the apical poles of epithelial cell-cell junctions. All these results suggest that DE-cadherin is a homolog of vertebrate classic cadherins and that the vertebrate and invertebrate share common mechanisms for regulation of cell-cell adhesion.