GammaCOP is required for apical protein secretion and epithelial morphogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster.
ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence that tissue-specific modifications of basic cellular functions play an important role in development and disease. To identify the functions of COPI coatomer-mediated membrane trafficking in Drosophila development, we were aiming to create loss-of-function mutations in the gammaCOP gene, which encodes a subunit of the COPI coatomer complex.We found that gammaCOP is essential for the viability of the Drosophila embryo. In the absence of zygotic gammaCOP activity, embryos die late in embryogenesis and display pronounced defects in morphogenesis of the embryonic epidermis and of tracheal tubes. The coordinated cell rearrangements and cell shape changes during tracheal tube morphogenesis critically depend on apical secretion of certain proteins. Investigation of tracheal morphogenesis in gammaCOP loss-of-function mutants revealed that several key proteins required for tracheal morphogenesis are not properly secreted into the apical lumen. As a consequence, gammaCOP mutants show defects in cell rearrangements during branch elongation, in tube dilation, as well as in tube fusion. We present genetic evidence that a specific subset of the tracheal defects in gammaCOP mutants is due to the reduced secretion of the Zona Pellucida protein Piopio. Thus, we identified a critical target protein of COPI-dependent secretion in epithelial tube morphogenesis.These studies highlight the role of COPI coatomer-mediated vesicle trafficking in both general and tissue-specific secretion in a multicellular organism. Although COPI coatomer is generally required for protein secretion, we show that the phenotypic effect of gammaCOP mutations is surprisingly specific. Importantly, we attribute a distinct aspect of the gammaCOP phenotype to the effect on a specific key target protein.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Tube expansion defects like stenoses and atresias cause devastating human diseases. Luminal expansion during organogenesis begins to be elucidated in several systems but we still lack a mechanistic view of the process in many organs. The Drosophila tracheal respiratory system provides an amenable model to study tube size regulation. In the trachea, COPII anterograde transport of luminal proteins is required for extracellular matrix assembly and the concurrent tube expansion. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We identified and analyzed Drosophila COPI retrograde transport mutants with narrow tracheal tubes. gammaCOP mutants fail to efficiently secrete luminal components and assemble the luminal chitinous matrix during tracheal tube expansion. Likewise, tube extension is defective in salivary glands, where it also coincides with a failure in the luminal deposition and assembly of a distinct, transient intraluminal matrix. Drosophila gammaCOP colocalizes with cis-Golgi markers and in gammaCOP mutant embryos the ER and Golgi structures are severely disrupted. Analysis of gammaCOP and Sar1 double mutants suggests that bidirectional ER-Golgi traffic maintains the ER and Golgi compartments and is required for secretion and assembly of luminal matrixes during tube expansion. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results demonstrate the function of COPI components in organ morphogenesis and highlight the common role of apical secretion and assembly of transient organotypic matrices in tube expansion. Intraluminal matrices have been detected in the notochord of ascidians and zebrafish COPI mutants show defects in notochord expansion. Thus, the programmed deposition and growth of distinct luminal molds may provide distending forces during tube expansion in diverse organs.
Project description: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). ECM organization requires apical (luminal) secretion of the protein Vermiform (Verm), which depends on the basolateral septate junction (SJ). 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, 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 an SJ-associated polarity protein. 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.
Project description:Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) control cell and organism growth through evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways. The mammalian acid-labile subunit (ALS) is a secreted protein that complexes with IGFs to modulate their activity. Recent work has shown that a Drosophila homolog of ALS, dALS, can also complex with and modulate the activity of a Drosophila IGF. Here we report the first mutations in the gene encoding dALS. Unexpectedly, we find that these mutations are allelic to a previously described mutation in convoluted (conv), a gene required for epithelial morphogenesis. In conv mutants, the tubes of the Drosophila tracheal system become abnormally elongated without altering tracheal cell number. conv null mutations cause larval lethality, but do not disrupt several processes required for tracheal tube size control, including septate junction formation, deposition of a lumenal/apical extracellular matrix, and lumenal secretion of Vermiform and Serpentine, two putative matrix-modifying proteins. Clearance of lumenal matrix and subcellular localization of clathrin also appear normal in conv mutants. However, we show that Conv/dALS is required for the dynamic organization of the transient lumenal matrix and normal structure of the cuticle that lines the tracheal lumen. These and other data suggest that the Conv/dALS-dependent tube size control mechanism is distinct from other known processes involved in tracheal tube size regulation. Moreover, we present evidence indicating that Conv/dALS has a novel, IGF-signaling independent function in tracheal morphogenesis.
Project description:Tubes are essential for nutrient transport and gas exchange in multicellular eukaryotes, but how connections between different tube types are maintained over time is unknown. In the Drosophila tracheal system, mutations in oak gall (okg) and conjoined (cnj) confer identical defects, including late onset blockage near the terminal cell-stalk cell junction and the ectopic extension of autocellular, seamed tubes into the terminal cell. We determined that okg and cnj encode the E and G subunits of the vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) and showed that both the V0 and V1 domains are required for terminal cell morphogenesis. Remarkably, the ectopic seamed tubes running along vATPase-deficient terminal cells belonged to the neighboring stalk cells. All vATPase-deficient tracheal cells had reduced apical domains and terminal cells displayed mislocalized apical proteins. Consistent with recent reports that the mTOR and vATPase pathways intersect, we found that mTOR pathway mutants phenocopied okg and cnj. Furthermore, terminal cells depleted for the apical determinants Par6 or aPKC had identical ectopic seamed tube defects. We thus identify a novel mechanism of compensatory branching in which stalk cells extend autocellular tubes into neighboring terminal cells with undersized apical domains. This compensatory branching also occurs in response to injury, with damaged terminal cells being rapidly invaded by their stalk cell neighbor.
Project description:The apical extracellular matrix plays a central role in epithelial tube morphogenesis. In the Drosophila tracheal system, Serpentine (Serp), a secreted chitin deacetylase expressed by the tracheal cells plays a key role in regulating tube length. Here, we show that the fly fat body, which is functionally equivalent to the mammalian liver, also contributes to tracheal morphogenesis. Serp was expressed by the fat body, and the secreted Serp was taken up by the tracheal cells and translocated to the lumen to functionally support normal tracheal development. This process was defective in rab9 and shrub/vps32 mutants and in wild-type embryos treated with a secretory pathway inhibitor, leading to an abundant accumulation of Serp in the fat body. We demonstrated that fat body-derived Serp reached the tracheal lumen after establishment of epithelial barrier function and was retained in the lumen in a chitin synthase-dependent manner. Our results thus reveal that the fat body, a mesodermal organ, actively contributes to tracheal development.
Project description:Apical extracellular matrix filling the lumen controls the morphology and geometry of epithelial tubes during development, yet the regulation of luminal protein composition and its role in tube morphogenesis are not well understood. Here we show that an endosomal-retrieval machinery consisting of Rab9, retromer and actin nucleator WASH (Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein and SCAR Homolog) regulates selective recycling of the luminal protein Serpentine in the Drosophila trachea. Secreted Serpentine is endocytosed and sorted into the late endosome. Vps35, WASH and actin filaments differentially localize at the Rab9-enriched subdomains of the endosomal membrane, where Serpentine containing vesicles bud off. In Rab9, Vps35 and WASH mutants, Serpentine was secreted normally into the tracheal lumen, but the luminal quantities were depleted at later stages, resulting in excessively elongated tubes. In contrast, secretion of many luminal proteins was unaffected, suggesting that retrograde trafficking of a specific class of luminal proteins is a pivotal rate-limiting mechanism for continuous tube length regulation.
Project description:Morphogenesis of the Drosophila embryonic trachea involves a stereotyped pattern of epithelial tube branching and fusion. Here, we report unexpected phenotypes resulting from maternal and zygotic (M/Z) loss of the homophilic cell adhesion molecule Echinoid (Ed), as well as the subcellular localization of Ed in the trachea. ed(M/Z) embryos have convoluted trachea reminiscent of septate junction (SJ) and luminal matrix mutants. However, Ed does not localize to SJs, and ed(M/Z) embryos have intact SJs and show normal luminal accumulation of the matrix-modifying protein Vermiform. Surprisingly, tracheal length is not increased in ed(M/Z) mutants, but a previously undescribed combination of reduced intersegmental spacing and deep epidermal grooves produces a convoluted tracheal phenotype. In addition, ed(M/Z) mutants have unique fusion defects involving supernumerary fusion cells, ectopic fusion events and atypical branch breaks. Tracheal-specific expression of Ed rescues these fusion defects, indicating that Ed acts in trachea to control fusion cell fate.
Project description:Ribbon is a nuclear Broad Tramtrack Bric-a-brac (BTB) -domain protein required for morphogenesis of the salivary gland and trachea. We recently showed that ribbon mutants exhibit decreased Crumbs and Rab11-coincident apical vesicles and increased apical Moesin activity and microvillar structure during tube elongation. To learn how these molecular and morphological changes affect the dynamics of tubulogenesis, we optimized an advanced two-photon microscope to enable high-resolution live imaging of the salivary gland and trachea. Live imaging revealed that ribbon mutant tissues exhibit slowed and incomplete lumenal morphogenesis, consistent with previously described apical defects. Because Moesin activity correlates with cortical stiffness, we hypothesize that ribbon mutants suffer from increased apical stiffness during morphogenesis. We develop this hypothesis through mechanical analysis, using the advantages of live imaging to construct computational elastic and analytical viscoelastic models of tube elongation, which suggest that ribbon mutant tubes exhibit three- to fivefold increased apical stiffness and twofold increased effective apical viscosity.
Project description:The invasion of Chlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular bacterium, into epithelial cells is driven by a complex interplay of host and bacterial factors. To comprehensively define the host genes required for pathogen invasion, we undertook a fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)-based CRISPR screen in human cells. A genome-wide loss-of-function library was infected with fluorescent C. trachomatis and then sorted to enrich for invasion-deficient mutants. The screen identified heparan sulfate, a known pathogen receptor, as well as coatomer complex I (COPI). We found that COPI, through a previously unappreciated role, promotes heparan sulfate cell surface presentation, thereby facilitating C. trachomatis attachment. The heparan sulfate defect does not fully account for the resistance of COPI mutants. COPI also promotes the activity of the pathogen's type III secretion system. Together, our findings establish the requirement for COPI in C. trachomatis invasion and the utility of FACS-based CRISPR screening for the elucidation of host factors required for pathogen invasion.
Project description:The tracheal epithelium in fruit fly larvae is a popular model for multi- and unicellular migration and morphogenesis. Like all epithelial cells, tracheal cells use Rab GTPases to organize their internal membrane transport, resulting in the specific localization or secretion of proteins on the apical or basal membrane compartments. Some contributions of Rabs to junctional remodelling and governance of tracheal lumen contents are known, but it is reasonable to assume that they play important further roles in morphogenesis. This pertains in particular to terminal tracheal cells, specialized branch-forming cells that drastically reshape both their apical and basal membrane during the larval stages. We performed a loss-of-function screen in the tracheal system, knocking down endogenously tagged alleles of 26 Rabs by targeting the tag via RNAi. This revealed that at least 14 Rabs are required to ensure proper cell fate specification and migration of the dorsal branches, as well as their epithelial fusion with the contralateral dorsal branch. The screen implicated four Rabs in the subcellular morphogenesis of terminal cells themselves. Further tests suggested residual gene function after knockdown, leading us to discuss the limitations of this approach. We conclude that more Rabs than identified here may be important for tracheal morphogenesis, and that the tracheal system offers great opportunities for studying several Rabs that have barely been characterized so far.