Drosophila convoluted/dALS is an essential gene required for tracheal tube morphogenesis and apical matrix organization.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:After birth, most of insulin-like growth factor I and II (IGFs) circulate as a ternary complex formed by the association of IGF binding protein 3-IGF complexes with a serum protein called acid-labile subunit (ALS). ALS retains the IGF binding protein-3-IGF complexes in the vascular compartment and extends the t1/2 of IGFs in the circulation. Synthesis of ALS occurs mainly in liver after birth and is stimulated by growth hormone. To study the basis for this regulation, we cloned and characterized the mouse ALS gene. Comparison of genomic and cDNA sequences indicated that the gene is composed of two exons separated by a 1126-bp intron. Exon 1 encodes the first 5 amino acids of the signal peptide and contributes the first nucleotide of codon 6. Exon 2 contributes the last 2 nt of codon 6 and encodes the remaining 17 amino acids of the signal peptide as well as the 580 amino acids of the mature protein. The polyadenylylation signal, ATTAAA, is located 241 bp from the termination codon. The cDNA and genomic DNA diverge 16 bp downstream from this signal. Transcription initiation was mapped to 11 sites over a 140-bp TATA-less region. The DNA fragment extending from nt -805 to -11 (ATG, +1) directed basal and growth hormone-regulated expression of a luciferase reporter plasmid in the rat liver cell line H4-II-E. Finally, the ALS gene was mapped to mouse chromosome 17 by fluorescence in situ hybridization.
Project description:Epithelial organ size and shape depend on cell shape changes, cell-matrix communication, and apical membrane growth. The <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i> embryonic tracheal network is an excellent model to study these processes. Here, we show that the transcriptional coactivator of the Hippo pathway, Yorkie (YAP/TAZ in vertebrates), plays distinct roles in the developing <i>Drosophila</i> airways. Yorkie exerts a cytoplasmic function by binding <i>Drosophila</i> Twinstar, the orthologue of the vertebrate actin-severing protein Cofilin, to regulate F-actin levels and apical cell membrane size, which are required for proper tracheal tube elongation. Second, Yorkie controls water tightness of tracheal tubes by transcriptional regulation of the <i>?-aminolevulinate synthase</i> gene (<i>Alas</i>). We conclude that Yorkie has a dual role in tracheal development to ensure proper tracheal growth and functionality.
Project description:Tubular networks like the vasculature extend branches throughout animal bodies, but how developing vessels interact with and invade tissues is not well understood. We investigated the underlying mechanisms using the developing tracheal tube network of Drosophila indirect flight muscles (IFMs) as a model. Live imaging revealed that tracheal sprouts invade IFMs directionally with growth-cone-like structures at branch tips. Ramification inside IFMs proceeds until tracheal branches fill the myotube. However, individual tracheal cells occupy largely separate territories, possibly mediated by cell-cell repulsion. Matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP1) is required in tracheal cells for normal invasion speed and for the dynamic organization of growth-cone-like branch tips. MMP1 remodels the CollagenIV-containing matrix around branch tips, which show differential matrix composition with low CollagenIV levels, while Laminin is present along tracheal branches. Thus, tracheal-derived MMP1 sustains branch invasion by modulating the dynamic behavior of sprouting branches as well as properties of the surrounding matrix.
Project description:Most tubes have seams (intercellular or autocellular junctions that seal membranes together into a tube), but "seamless" tubes also exist. In Drosophila, stellate-shaped tracheal terminal cells make seamless tubes, with single branches running through each of dozens of cellular extensions. We find that mutations in braided impair terminal cell branching and cause formation of seamless tube cysts. We show that braided encodes Syntaxin7 and that cysts also form in cells deficient for other genes required either for membrane scission (shibire) or for early endosome formation (Rab5, Vps45, and Rabenosyn-5). These data define a requirement for early endocytosis in shaping seamless tube lumens. Importantly, apical proteins Crumbs and phospho-Moesin accumulate to aberrantly high levels in braided terminal cells. Overexpression of either Crumbs or phosphomimetic Moesin induced lumenal cysts and decreased terminal branching. Conversely, the braided seamless tube cyst phenotype was suppressed by mutations in crumbs or Moesin. Indeed, mutations in Moesin dominantly suppressed seamless tube cyst formation and restored terminal branching. We propose that early endocytosis maintains normal steady-state levels of Crumbs, which recruits apical phosphorylated (active) Moe, which in turn regulates seamless tube shape through modulation of cortical actin filaments.
Project description:Seamless tubes form intracellularly without cell-cell or autocellular junctions. Such tubes have been described across phyla, but remain mysterious despite their simple architecture. In Drosophila, seamless tubes are found within tracheal terminal cells, which have dozens of branched protrusions extending hundreds of micrometres. We find that mutations in multiple components of the dynein motor complex block seamless tube growth, raising the possibility that the lumenal membrane forms through minus-end-directed transport of apical membrane components along microtubules. Growth of seamless tubes is polarized along the proximodistal axis by Rab35 and its apical membrane-localized GAP, Whacked. Strikingly, loss of whacked (or constitutive activation of Rab35) leads to tube overgrowth at terminal cell branch tips, whereas overexpression of Whacked (or dominant-negative Rab35) causes formation of ectopic tubes surrounding the terminal cell nucleus. Thus, vesicle trafficking has key roles in making and shaping seamless tubes.
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: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:Many organs are composed of branched networks of epithelial tubes that transport vital fluids or gases. The proper size and shape of tubes are crucial for their transport function, but the molecular processes that govern tube size and shape are not well understood. Here we show that three genes required for tracheal tube morphogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster encode proteins involved in the synthesis and accumulation of chitin, a polymer of N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosamine that serves as a scaffold in the rigid extracellular matrix of insect cuticle. In all three mutants, developing tracheal tubes bud and extend normally, but the epithelial walls of the tubes do not expand uniformly, and the resultant tubes are grossly misshapen, with constricted and distended regions all along their lengths. The genes are expressed in tracheal cells during the expansion process, and chitin accumulates in the lumen of tubes, forming an expanding cylinder that we propose coordinates the behavior of the surrounding tracheal cells and stabilizes the expanding epithelium. These findings show that chitin regulates epithelial tube morphogenesis, in addition to its classical role protecting mature epithelia.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Scaffolding proteins belonging to the membrane associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) superfamily function as adapters linking cytoplasmic and cell surface proteins to the cytoskeleton to regulate cell-cell adhesion, cell-cell communication and signal transduction. We characterize here a Drosophila MAGUK member, Varicose (Vari), the homologue of vertebrate scaffolding protein PALS2. RESULTS: Varicose localizes to pleated septate junctions (pSJs) of all embryonic, ectodermally-derived epithelia and peripheral glia. In vari mutants, essential SJ proteins NeurexinIV and FasciclinIII are mislocalized basally and epithelia develop a leaky paracellular seal. In addition, vari mutants display irregular tracheal tube diameters and have reduced lumenal protein accumulation, suggesting involvement in tracheal morphogenesis. We found that Vari is distributed in the cytoplasm of the optic lobe neuroepithelium, as well as in a subset of neuroblasts and differentiated neurons of the nervous system. We reduced vari function during the development of adult epithelia with a partial rescue, RNA interference and generation of genetically mosaic tissue. All three approaches demonstrate that vari is required for the patterning and morphogenesis of adult epithelial hairs and bristles. CONCLUSION: Varicose is involved in scaffold assembly at the SJ and has a role in patterning and morphogenesis of adult epithelia.