Rap1 acts via multiple mechanisms to position Canoe and adherens junctions and mediate apical-basal polarity establishment.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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: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: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: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: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:The small GTPase Rap1 affects cell adhesion and cell motility in numerous developmental contexts. Loss of Rap1 in the Drosophila wing epithelium disrupts adherens junction localization, causing mutant cells to disperse, and dramatically alters epithelial cell shape. While the adhesive consequences of Rap1 inactivation have been well described in this system, the effects on cell signaling, cell fate specification, and tissue differentiation are not known. Here we demonstrate that Egfr-dependent cell types are lost from Rap1 mutant tissue as an indirect consequence of DE-cadherin mislocalization. Cells lacking Rap1 in the developing wing and eye are capable of responding to an Egfr signal, indicating that Rap1 is not required for Egfr/Ras/MAPK signal transduction. Instead, Rap1 regulates adhesive contacts necessary for maintenance of Egfr signaling between cells, and differentiation of wing veins and photoreceptors. Rap1 is also necessary for planar cell polarity in these tissues. Wing hair alignment and ommatidial rotation, functional readouts of planar cell polarity in the wing and eye respectively, are both affected in Rap1 mutant tissue. Finally, we show that Rap1 acts through the effector Canoe to regulate these developmental processes.
Project description:Tricellular adherens junctions are points of high tension that are central to the rearrangement of epithelial cells. However, the molecular composition of these junctions is unknown, making it difficult to assess their role in morphogenesis. Here, we show that Sidekick, an immunoglobulin family cell adhesion protein, is highly enriched at tricellular adherens junctions in Drosophila. This localization is modulated by tension, and Sidekick is itself necessary to maintain normal levels of cell bond tension. Loss of Sidekick causes defects in cell and junctional rearrangements in actively remodeling epithelial tissues like the retina and tracheal system. The adaptor proteins Polychaetoid and Canoe are enriched at tricellular adherens junctions in a Sidekick-dependent manner; Sidekick functionally interacts with both proteins and directly binds to Polychaetoid. We suggest that Polychaetoid and Canoe link Sidekick to the actin cytoskeleton to enable tricellular adherens junctions to maintain or transmit cell bond tension during epithelial cell rearrangements.
Project description:Polarity landmarks guide epithelial development. In the early Drosophila ectoderm, the scaffold protein Bazooka (Drosophila PAR-3) forms apicolateral landmarks to direct adherens junction assembly. However, it is unclear how Bazooka becomes polarized. We report two mechanisms acting in concert to displace Bazooka from the basolateral membrane. As cells form during cellularization, basally localized Bazooka undergoes basal-to-apical transport. Bazooka requires its three postsynaptic density 95, discs large, zonula occludens-1 (PDZ) domains to engage the transport mechanism, but with the PDZ domains deleted, basolateral displacement still occurs by gastrulation. Basolateral PAR-1 activity appears to act redundantly with the transport mechanism. Knockdown of PAR-1 sporadically destabilizes cellularization furrows, but basolateral displacement of Bazooka still occurs by gastrulation. In contrast, basolateral Bazooka displacement is blocked with disruption of both the transport mechanism and phosphorylation by PAR-1. Thus Bazooka is polarized through a combination of transport and PAR-1-induced dispersion from basolateral membranes. Our work complements recent findings in Caenorhabditis elegans and thus suggests the coupling of transport and dispersion is a common protein polarization strategy.
Project description:The localisation of apico-basal polarity proteins along the Z-axis of epithelial cells is well understood while their distribution in the plane of the epithelium is poorly characterised. Here we provide a systematic description of the planar localisation of apico-basal polarity proteins in the Drosophila ommatidial epithelium. We show that the adherens junction proteins Shotgun and Armadillo, as well as the baso-lateral complexes, are bilateral, i.e. present on both sides of cell interfaces. In contrast, we report that other key adherens junction proteins, Bazooka and the myosin regulatory light chain (Spaghetti squash) are unilateral, i.e. present on one side of cell interfaces. Furthermore, we demonstrate that planar cell polarity (PCP) and not the apical determinants Crumbs and Par-6 control Bazooka unilaterality in cone cells. Altogether, our work unravels an unexpected organisation and combination of apico-basal, cytoskeletal and planar polarity proteins that is different on either side of cell-cell interfaces and unique for the different contacts of the same cell.