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1.  Epithelial polarity proteins regulate Drosophila tracheal tube size independently of the luminal matrix pathway 
Current biology : CB  2010;20(1):55.
Summary
Regulation of epithelial tube size is critical for organ function. However, the mechanisms of tube-size control remain poorly understood. In the Drosophila trachea, tube dimensions are regulated by a luminal extracellular matrix (ECM) [1–4]. ECM organization requires apical (luminal) secretion of the protein Vermiform (Verm), which depends on the basolateral septate junction (SJ) [5, 6]. Here, we show that apical and basolateral epithelial polarity proteins interact to control tracheal tube-size independently of the Verm pathway. Mutations in yurt (yrt) and scribble (scrib), which encode SJ-associated polarity proteins [7, 8], cause an expansion of tracheal tubes, but do not disrupt Verm secretion. Reducing activity of the apical polarity protein Crumbs (Crb) suppresses the length defects in yrt but not scrib mutants, suggesting that Yrt acts by negatively regulating Crb. Conversely, Crb overexpression increases tracheal tube dimensions. Reducing crb dosage also rescues tracheal size defects caused by mutations in coracle (cora), which encodes a SJ-associated polarity protein [8, 9]. In addition, crb mutations suppress cora length defects without restoring Verm secretion. Together, these data indicate that Yrt, Cora, Crb and Scrib operate independently of the Verm pathway. Our data support a model in which Cora and Yrt act through Crb to regulate epithelial tube size.
doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.11.017
PMCID: PMC2821987  PMID: 20022244
Tracheal morphogenesis; Tubulogenesis; epithelial polarity; Crumbs; Yurt; Coracle Scribble; Septate junction; Vermiform
2.  The FERM Protein Yurt Is a Negative Regulatory Component of the Crumbs Complex that Controls Epithelial Polarity and Apical Membrane Size 
Developmental cell  2006;11(3):363-374.
Summary
The Crumbs (Crb) complex is a key regulator of epithelial cell architecture where it promotes apical membrane formation. Here, we show that binding of the FERM protein Yurt to the cytoplasmic domain of Crb is part of a negative-feedback loop that regulates Crb activity. Yurt is predominantly a basolateral protein but is recruited by Crb to apical membranes late during epithelial development. Loss of Yurt causes an expansion of the apical membrane in embryonic epithelia and photoreceptor cells similar to Crb overexpression and in contrast to loss of Crb. Analysis of yurt crb double mutants suggests that these genes function in one pathway and that yurt negatively regulates crb. We also show that the mammalian Yurt orthologs YMO1 and EHM2 bind to mammalian Crb proteins. We propose that Yurt is part of an evolutionary conserved negative-feedback mechanism that restricts Crb complex activity in promoting apical membrane formation.
doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2006.06.001
PMCID: PMC2834949  PMID: 16950127
3.  Cdc42 and Par proteins stabilize dynamic adherens junctions in the Drosophila neuroectoderm through regulation of apical endocytosis 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2008;183(6):1129-1143.
Cell rearrangements require dynamic changes in cell–cell contacts to maintain tissue integrity. We investigated the function of Cdc42 in maintaining adherens junctions (AJs) and apical polarity in the Drosophila melanogaster neuroectodermal epithelium. About one third of cells exit the epithelium through ingression and become neuroblasts. Cdc42-compromised embryos lost AJs in the neuroectoderm during neuroblast ingression. In contrast, when neuroblast formation was suppressed, AJs were maintained despite the loss of Cdc42 function. Loss of Cdc42 function caused an increase in the endocytotic uptake of apical proteins, including apical polarity factors such as Crumbs, which are required for AJ stability. In addition, Cdc42 has a second function in regulating endocytotic trafficking, as it is required for the progression of apical cargo from the early to the late endosome. The Par complex acts as an effector for Cdc42 in controlling the endocytosis of apical proteins. This study reveals functional interactions between apical polarity proteins and endocytosis that are critical for stabilizing dynamic basolateral AJs.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200807020
PMCID: PMC2600741  PMID: 19064670
5.  Drosophila melanogaster Cad99C, the orthologue of human Usher cadherin PCDH15, regulates the length of microvilli 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2005;171(3):549-558.
Actin-based protrusions can form prominent structures on the apical surface of epithelial cells, such as microvilli. Several cytoplasmic factors have been identified that control the dynamics of actin filaments in microvilli. However, it remains unclear whether the plasma membrane participates actively in microvillus formation. In this paper, we analyze the function of Drosophila melanogaster cadherin Cad99C in the microvilli of ovarian follicle cells. Cad99C contributes to eggshell formation and female fertility and is expressed in follicle cells, which produce the eggshells. Cad99C specifically localizes to apical microvilli. Loss of Cad99C function results in shortened and disorganized microvilli, whereas overexpression of Cad99C leads to a dramatic increase of microvillus length. Cad99C that lacks most of the cytoplasmic domain, including potential PDZ domain–binding sites, still promotes excessive microvillus outgrowth, suggesting that the amount of the extracellular domain determines microvillus length. This study reveals Cad99C as a critical regulator of microvillus length, the first example of a transmembrane protein that is involved in this process.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200507072
PMCID: PMC2171266  PMID: 16260500
6.  Essential function of Drosophila Sec6 in apical exocytosis of epithelial photoreceptor cells 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2005;169(4):635-646.
Polarized exocytosis plays a major role in development and cell differentiation but the mechanisms that target exocytosis to specific membrane domains in animal cells are still poorly understood. We characterized Drosophila Sec6, a component of the exocyst complex that is believed to tether secretory vesicles to specific plasma membrane sites. sec6 mutations cause cell lethality and disrupt plasma membrane growth. In developing photoreceptor cells (PRCs), Sec6 but not Sec5 or Sec8 shows accumulation at adherens junctions. In late PRCs, Sec6, Sec5, and Sec8 colocalize at the rhabdomere, the light sensing subdomain of the apical membrane. PRCs with reduced Sec6 function accumulate secretory vesicles and fail to transport proteins to the rhabdomere, but show normal localization of proteins to the apical stalk membrane and the basolateral membrane. Furthermore, we show that Rab11 forms a complex with Sec5 and that Sec5 interacts with Sec6 suggesting that the exocyst is a Rab11 effector that facilitates protein transport to the apical rhabdomere in Drosophila PRCs.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200410081
PMCID: PMC2171699  PMID: 15897260
7.  The Cell Fate Determinant Numb Interacts with EHD/Rme-1 Family Proteins and Has a Role in Endocytic Recycling 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2004;15(8):3698-3708.
The adaptor protein Numb is necessary for the cell fate specification of progenitor cells in the Drosophila nervous system. Numb is evolutionarily conserved and previous studies have provided evidence for a similar functional role during mammalian development. The Numb protein has multiple protein-protein interaction regions including a phosphotyrosine binding (PTB) domain and a carboxy-terminal domain that contains conserved interaction motifs including an EH (Eps15 Homology) domain binding motif and α-adaptin binding site. In this study we identify the EHD/Rme-1/Pincher family of endocytic proteins as Numb interacting partners in mammals and Drosophila. The EHD/Rme-1 proteins function in recycling of plasma membrane receptors internalized by both clathrin-mediated endocytosis and a clathrin-independent pathway regulated by ADP ribosylation factor 6 (Arf6). Here we report that Numb colocalizes with endogenous EHD4/Pincher and Arf6 and that Arf6 mutants alter Numb subcellular localization. In addition, we present evidence that Numb has a novel function in endosomal recycling and intracellular trafficking of receptors.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E04-01-0026
PMCID: PMC491829  PMID: 15155807
8.  Sinuous is a Drosophila claudin required for septate junction organization and epithelial tube size control 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2004;164(2):313-323.
Epithelial tubes of the correct size and shape are vital for the function of the lungs, kidneys, and vascular system, yet little is known about epithelial tube size regulation. Mutations in the Drosophila gene sinuous have previously been shown to cause tracheal tubes to be elongated and have diameter increases. Our genetic analysis using a sinuous null mutation suggests that sinuous functions in the same pathway as the septate junction genes neurexin and scribble, but that nervana 2, convoluted, varicose, and cystic have functions not shared by sinuous. Our molecular analyses reveal that sinuous encodes a claudin that localizes to septate junctions and is required for septate junction organization and paracellular barrier function. These results provide important evidence that the paracellular barriers formed by arthropod septate junctions and vertebrate tight junctions have a common molecular basis despite their otherwise different molecular compositions, morphologies, and subcellular localizations.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200309134
PMCID: PMC2172325  PMID: 14734539
tight junction; Drosophila; epithelial cell; trachea; morphogenesis
9.  Gliotactin, a novel marker of tricellular junctions, is necessary for septate junction development in Drosophila 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2003;161(5):991-1000.
Septate junctions (SJs), similar to tight junctions, function as transepithelial permeability barriers. Gliotactin (Gli) is a cholinesterase-like molecule that is necessary for blood–nerve barrier integrity, and may, therefore, contribute to SJ development or function. To address this hypothesis, we analyzed Gli expression and the Gli mutant phenotype in Drosophila epithelia. In Gli mutants, localization of SJ markers neurexin-IV, discs large, and coracle are disrupted. Furthermore, SJ barrier function is lost as determined by dye permeability assays. These data suggest that Gli is necessary for SJ formation. Surprisingly, Gli distribution only colocalizes with other SJ markers at tricellular junctions, suggesting that Gli has a unique function in SJ development. Ultrastructural analysis of Gli mutants supports this notion. In contrast to other SJ mutants in which septa are missing, septa are present in Gli mutants, but the junction has an immature morphology. We propose a model, whereby Gli acts at tricellular junctions to bind, anchor, or compact SJ strands apically during SJ development.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200303192
PMCID: PMC2172969  PMID: 12782681
epidermis; epithelial cells; electrotactin; neuroligin; neurexin
10.  Apical, Lateral, and Basal Polarization Cues Contribute to the Development of the Follicular Epithelium during Drosophila Oogenesis 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;151(4):891-904.
Analysis of the mechanisms that control epithelial polarization has revealed that cues for polarization are mediated by transmembrane proteins that operate at the apical, lateral, or basal surface of epithelial cells. Whereas for any given epithelial cell type only one or two polarization systems have been identified to date, we report here that the follicular epithelium in Drosophila ovaries uses three different polarization mechanisms, each operating at one of the three main epithelial surface domains. The follicular epithelium arises through a mesenchymal–epithelial transition. Contact with the basement membrane provides an initial polarization cue that leads to the formation of a basal membrane domain. Moreover, we use mosaic analysis to show that Crumbs (Crb) is required for the formation and maintenance of the follicular epithelium. Crb localizes to the apical membrane of follicle cells that is in contact with germline cells. Contact to the germline is required for the accumulation of Crb in follicle cells. Discs Lost (Dlt), a cytoplasmic PDZ domain protein that was shown to interact with the cytoplasmic tail of Crb, overlaps precisely in its distribution with Crb, as shown by immunoelectron microscopy. Crb localization depends on Dlt, whereas Dlt uses Crb-dependent and -independent mechanisms for apical targeting. Finally, we show that the cadherin–catenin complex is not required for the formation of the follicular epithelium, but only for its maintenance. Loss of cadherin-based adherens junctions caused by armadillo (β-catenin) mutations results in a disruption of the lateral spectrin and actin cytoskeleton. Also Crb and the apical spectrin cytoskeleton are lost from armadillo mutant follicle cells. Together with previous data showing that Crb is required for the formation of a zonula adherens, these findings indicate a mutual dependency of apical and lateral polarization mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC2169434  PMID: 11076972
epithelial polarity; follicular epithelium; Crumbs; Discs Lost; Armadillo
11.  DE-Cadherin Is Required for Intercellular Motility during Drosophila Oogenesis  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1999;144(3):533-547.
Cadherins are involved in a variety of morphogenetic movements during animal development. However, it has been difficult to pinpoint the precise function of cadherins in morphogenetic processes due to the multifunctional nature of cadherin requirement. The data presented here indicate that homophilic adhesion promoted by Drosophila E-cadherin (DE-cadherin) mediates two cell migration events during Drosophila oogenesis. In Drosophila follicles, two groups of follicle cells, the border cells and the centripetal cells migrate on the surface of germline cells. We show that the border cells migrate as an epithelial patch in which two centrally located cells retain epithelial polarity and peripheral cells are partially depolarized. Both follicle cells and germline cells express DE-cadherin, and border cells and centripetal cells strongly upregulate the expression of DE-cadherin shortly before and during their migration. Removing DE-cadherin from either the follicle cells or the germline cells blocks migration of border cells and centripetal cells on the surface of germline cells. The function of DE-cadherin in border cells appears to be specific for migration as the formation of the border cell cluster and the adhesion between border cells are not disrupted in the absence of DE-cadherin. The speed of migration depends on the level of DE-cadherin expression, as border cells migrate more slowly when DE-cadherin activity is reduced. Finally, we show that the upregulation of DE-cadherin expression in border cells depends on the activity of the Drosophila C/EBP transcription factor that is essential for border cell migration.
PMCID: PMC2132905  PMID: 9971747
cadherin; intercellular motility; cell migration; Drosophila; oogenesis

Results 1-11 (11)