Rap1 and Canoe/afadin are essential for establishment of apical-basal polarity in the Drosophila embryo.
ABSTRACT: The establishment and maintenance of apical-basal cell polarity is critical for assembling epithelia and maintaining organ architecture. Drosophila embryos provide a superb model. In the current view, apically positioned Bazooka/Par3 is the initial polarity cue as cells form during cellularization. Bazooka then helps to position both adherens junctions and atypical protein kinase C (aPKC). Although a polarized cytoskeleton is critical for Bazooka positioning, proteins mediating this remained unknown. We found that the small GTPase Rap1 and the actin-junctional linker Canoe/afadin are essential for polarity establishment, as both adherens junctions and Bazooka are mispositioned in their absence. Rap1 and Canoe do not simply organize the cytoskeleton, as actin and microtubules become properly polarized in their absence. Canoe can recruit Bazooka when ectopically expressed, but they do not obligatorily colocalize. Rap1 and Canoe play continuing roles in Bazooka localization during gastrulation, but other polarity cues partially restore apical Bazooka in the absence of Rap1 or Canoe. We next tested the current linear model for polarity establishment. Both Bazooka and aPKC regulate Canoe localization despite being "downstream" of Canoe. Further, Rap1, Bazooka, and aPKC, but not Canoe, regulate columnar cell shape. These data reshape our view, suggesting that polarity establishment is regulated by a protein network rather than a linear pathway.
Project description:Epithelial apical-basal polarity drives assembly and function of most animal tissues. Polarity initiation requires cell-cell adherens junction assembly at the apical-basolateral boundary. Defining the mechanisms underlying polarity establishment remains a key issue. Drosophila embryos provide an ideal model, as 6000 polarized cells assemble simultaneously. Current data place the actin-junctional linker Canoe (fly homolog of Afadin) at the top of the polarity hierarchy, where it directs Bazooka/Par3 and adherens junction positioning. Here we define mechanisms regulating Canoe localization/function. Spatial organization of Canoe is multifaceted, involving membrane localization, recruitment to nascent junctions and macromolecular assembly at tricellular junctions. Our data suggest apical activation of the small GTPase Rap1 regulates all three events, but support multiple modes of regulation. The Rap1GEF Dizzy (PDZ-GEF) is crucial for Canoe tricellular junction enrichment but not apical retention. The Rap1-interacting RA domains of Canoe mediate adherens junction and tricellular junction recruitment but are dispensable for membrane localization. Our data also support a role for Canoe multimerization. These multifactorial inputs shape Canoe localization, correct Bazooka and adherens junction positioning, and thus apical-basal polarity. We integrate the existing data into a new polarity establishment model.
Project description:In epithelia, cells adhere to each other in a dynamic fashion, allowing the cells to change their shape and move along each other during morphogenesis. The regulation of adhesion occurs at the belt-shaped adherens junction, the zonula adherens (ZA). Formation of the ZA depends on components of the Par-atypical PKC (Par-aPKC) complex of polarity regulators. We have identified the Lin11, Isl-1, Mec-3 (LIM) protein Smallish (Smash), the orthologue of vertebrate LMO7, as a binding partner of Bazooka/Par-3 (Baz), a core component of the Par-aPKC complex. Smash also binds to Canoe/Afadin and the tyrosine kinase Src42A and localizes to the ZA in a planar polarized fashion. Animals lacking Smash show loss of planar cell polarity (PCP) in the embryonic epidermis and reduced cell bond tension, leading to severe defects during embryonic morphogenesis of epithelial tissues and organs. Overexpression of Smash causes apical constriction of epithelial cells. We propose that Smash is a key regulator of morphogenesis coordinating PCP and actomyosin contractility at the ZA.
Project description:Integrating individual cell movements to create tissue-level shape change is essential to building an animal. We explored mechanisms of adherens junction (AJ):cytoskeleton linkage and roles of the linkage regulator Canoe/afadin during Drosophila germband extension (GBE), a convergent-extension process elongating the body axis. We found surprising parallels between GBE and a quite different morphogenetic movement, mesoderm apical constriction. Germband cells have an apical actomyosin network undergoing cyclical contractions. These coincide with a novel cell shape change--cell extension along the anterior-posterior (AP) axis. In Canoe's absence, GBE is disrupted. The apical actomyosin network detaches from AJs at AP cell borders, reducing coordination of actomyosin contractility and cell shape change. Normal GBE requires planar polarization of AJs and the cytoskeleton. Canoe loss subtly enhances AJ planar polarity and dramatically increases planar polarity of the apical polarity proteins Bazooka/Par3 and atypical protein kinase C. Changes in Bazooka localization parallel retraction of the actomyosin network. Globally reducing AJ function does not mimic Canoe loss, but many effects are replicated by global actin disruption. Strong dose-sensitive genetic interactions between canoe and bazooka are consistent with them affecting a common process. We propose a model in which an actomyosin network linked at AP AJs by Canoe and coupled to apical polarity proteins regulates convergent extension.
Project description:In Drosophila epithelial cells, apical exclusion of Bazooka (the Drosophila Par3 protein) defines the position of the zonula adherens (ZA), which demarcates the apical and lateral membrane and allows cells to assemble into sheets. Here, we show that the small GTPase Rap1, its effector Canoe (Cno) and the Cdc42 effector kinase Mushroom bodies tiny (Mbt), converge in regulating epithelial morphogenesis by coupling stabilization of the adherens junction (AJ) protein E-Cadherin and Bazooka retention at the ZA. Furthermore, our results show that the localization of Rap1, Cno and Mbt at the ZA is interdependent, indicating that their functions during ZA morphogenesis are interlinked. In this context, we find the Rap1-GEF Dizzy is enriched at the ZA and our results suggest that it promotes Rap1 activity during ZA morphogenesis. Altogether, we propose the Dizzy, Rap1 and Cno pathway and Mbt converge in regulating the interface between Bazooka and AJ material to promote ZA morphogenesis.
Project description:During morphogenesis, cells must change shape and move without disrupting tissue integrity. This requires cell-cell junctions to allow dynamic remodeling while resisting forces generated by the actomyosin cytoskeleton. Multiple proteins play roles in junctional-cytoskeletal linkage, but the mechanisms by which they act remain unclear. Drosophila Canoe maintains adherens junction-cytoskeletal linkage during gastrulation. Canoe's mammalian homologue Afadin plays similar roles in cultured cells, working in parallel with ZO-1 proteins, particularly at multicellular junctions. We take these insights back to the fly embryo, exploring how cells maintain epithelial integrity when challenged by adherens junction remodeling during germband extension and dorsal closure. We found that Canoe helps cells maintain junctional-cytoskeletal linkage when challenged by the junctional remodeling inherent in mitosis, cell intercalation, and neuroblast invagination or by forces generated by the actomyosin cable at the leading edge. However, even in the absence of Canoe, many cells retain epithelial integrity. This is explained by a parallel role played by the ZO-1 homologue Polychaetoid. In embryos lacking both Canoe and Polychaetoid, cell junctions fail early, with multicellular junctions especially sensitive, leading to widespread loss of epithelial integrity. Our data suggest that Canoe and Polychaetoid stabilize Bazooka/Par3 at cell-cell junctions, helping maintain balanced apical contractility and tissue integrity.
Project description:Atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) is a key apical-basal polarity determinant and Par complex component. It is recruited by Par3/Baz (Bazooka in Drosophila) into epithelial apical domains through high-affinity interaction. Paradoxically, aPKC also phosphorylates Par3/Baz, provoking its relocalization to adherens junctions (AJs). We show that Par3 conserved region 3 (CR3) forms a tight inhibitory complex with a primed aPKC kinase domain, blocking substrate access. A CR3 motif flanking its PKC consensus site disrupts the aPKC kinase N lobe, separating P-loop/αB/αC contacts. A second CR3 motif provides a high-affinity anchor. Mutation of either motif switches CR3 to an efficient in vitro substrate by exposing its phospho-acceptor site. In vivo, mutation of either CR3 motif alters Par3/Baz localization from apical to AJs. Our results reveal how Par3/Baz CR3 can antagonize aPKC in stable apical Par complexes and suggests that modulation of CR3 inhibitory arms or opposing aPKC pockets would perturb the interaction, promoting Par3/Baz phosphorylation.
Project description:The mammalian MAGI proteins play important roles in the maintenance of adherens and tight junctions. The MAGI family of proteins contains modular domains such as WW and PDZ domains necessary for scaffolding of membrane receptors and intracellular signaling components. Loss of MAGI leads to reduced junction stability while overexpression of MAGI can lead to increased adhesion and stabilization of epithelial morphology. However, how Magi regulates junction assembly in epithelia is largely unknown. We investigated the single Drosophila homologue of Magi to study the in vivo role of Magi in epithelial development. Magi is localized at the adherens junction and forms a complex with the polarity proteins, Par3/Bazooka and aPKC. We generated a Magi null mutant and found that Magi null mutants were viable with no detectable morphological defects even though the Magi protein is highly conserved with vertebrate Magi homologues. However, overexpression of Magi resulted in the displacement of Baz/Par3 and aPKC and lead to an increase in the level of PIP3. Interestingly, we found that Magi and Baz functioned in an antagonistic manner to regulate the localization of the apical polarity complex. Maintaining the balance between the level of Magi and Baz is an important determinant of the levels and localization of apical polarity complex.
Project description:Bazooka (PAR-3), PAR-6, and aPKC form a complex that plays a key role in the polarization of many cell types. In epithelial cells, however, Bazooka localizes below PAR-6 and aPKC at the apical/lateral junction. Here, we show that Baz is excluded from the apical aPKC domain in epithelia by aPKC phosphorylation, which disrupts the Baz/aPKC interaction. Removal of Baz from the complex is epithelial-specific because it also requires the Crumbs complex, which prevents the Baz/PAR-6 interaction. In the absence of Crumbs or aPKC phosphorylation of Baz, mislocalized Baz recruits adherens junction components apically, leading to a loss of the apical domain and an expansion of lateral. Thus, apical exclusion of Baz by Crumbs and aPKC defines the apical/lateral border. Although Baz acts as an aPKC targeting and specificity factor in nonepithelial cells, our results reveal that it performs a complementary function in positioning the adherens junction in epithelia.
Project description:The Ras/MAPK-signaling pathway plays pivotal roles during development of metazoans by controlling cell proliferation and cell differentiation elicited, in several instances, by receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). While the internal mechanism of RTK-driven Ras/MAPK signaling is well understood, far less is known regarding its interplay with other co-required signaling events involved in developmental decisions. In a genetic screen designed to identify new regulators of RTK/Ras/MAPK signaling during Drosophila eye development, we identified the small GTPase Rap1, PDZ-GEF, and Canoe as components contributing to Ras/MAPK-mediated R7 cell differentiation. Rap1 signaling has recently been found to participate in assembling cadherin-based adherens junctions in various fly epithelial tissues. Here, we show that Rap1 activity is required for the integrity of the apical domains of developing photoreceptor cells and that reduced Rap1 signaling hampers the apical accumulation of the Sevenless RTK in presumptive R7 cells. It thus appears that, in addition to its role in cell-cell adhesion, Rap1 signaling controls the partitioning of the epithelial cell membrane, which in turn influences signaling events that rely on apico-basal cell polarity.
Project description:Apical-basal polarity is essential for the formation and function of epithelial tissues, whereas loss of polarity is a hallmark of tumours. Studies in Drosophila have identified conserved polarity factors that define the apical (Crumbs, Stardust, Par-6, atypical protein kinase C [aPKC]), junctional (Bazooka [Baz]/Par-3), and basolateral (Scribbled [Scrib], Discs large [Dlg], Lethal  giant larvae [Lgl]) domains of epithelial cells. Because these conserved factors mark equivalent domains in diverse types of vertebrate and invertebrate epithelia, it is generally assumed that this system underlies polarity in all epithelia. Here, we show that this is not the case, as none of these canonical factors are required for the polarisation of the endodermal epithelium of the Drosophila adult midgut. Furthermore, like vertebrate epithelia but not other Drosophila epithelia, the midgut epithelium forms occluding junctions above adherens junctions (AJs) and requires the integrin adhesion complex for polarity. Thus, Drosophila contains two types of epithelia that polarise by fundamentally different mechanisms. This diversity of epithelial types may reflect their different developmental origins, junctional arrangement, or whether they polarise in an apical-basal direction or vice versa. Since knock-outs of canonical polarity factors in vertebrates often have little or no effect on epithelial polarity and the Drosophila midgut shares several common features with vertebrate epithelia, this diversity of polarity mechanisms is likely to be conserved in other animals.