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29.11.19 Role for the integrin Myospheroid in defining egg chamber architecture in Drosophila

last modified Dec 05, 2019 08:32 PM
Integrins are proteins that link cells and tissues to their underlying substrate. New research from the St Johnston lab shows how these proteins help to define the architecture of the Drosophila egg chamber, a model for organ development.
29.11.19 Role for the integrin Myospheroid in defining egg chamber architecture in Drosophila

Developing ovary from a pupating Drosophila.

The role of integrins in Drosophila egg chamber morphogenesis

Lovegrove HE, Bergstralh DT, St Johnston D (2019) Development Nov 29. pii: dev.182774. DOI: 10.1242/dev.182774. [Epub ahead of print]


Abstract from the paper

A Drosophila egg chamber is comprised of a germline cyst surrounded by a tightly- organised epithelial monolayer, the follicular epithelium (FE). Loss of integrin function from the FE disrupts epithelial organisation at egg chamber termini, but the cause of this phenotype remains unclear.

Here we show that the beta-integrin Myospheroid (Mys) is only required during early oogenesis when the pre-follicle cells form the FE. mys mutants disrupt both the formation of a monolayered epithelium at egg chamber termini and the morphogenesis of the stalk between adjacent egg chambers, which develops through the intercalation of two rows of cells into a single- cell wide stalk.

Secondary epithelia, like the FE, have been proposed to require adhesion to the basement membrane to polarise. However, Mys is not required for pre-follicle cell polarisation, as both follicle and stalk cells localise polarity factors correctly, despite being mispositioned. Instead, loss of integrins causes pre-follicle cells to basally constrict, detach from the basement membrane and become internalised.

Thus, integrin function is dispensable for pre-follicle cell polarity but is required to maintain cellular organisation and cell shape during morphogenesis.


Read more about research in the St Johnston lab.

Watch Daniel St Johnston describe his research on YouTube.

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Studying development to understand disease

The Gurdon Institute is funded by Wellcome and Cancer Research UK to study the biology of development, and how normal growth and maintenance go wrong in cancer and other diseases.

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