Cytoplasmic sharing through apical membrane remodeling

Journal Article


Multiple nuclei sharing a common cytoplasm are found in diverse tissues, organisms, and diseases. Yet, multinucleation remains a poorly understood biological property. Cytoplasm sharing invariably involves plasma membrane breaches. In contrast, we discovered cytoplasm sharing without membrane breaching in highly resorptive Drosophila rectal papillae. During a six-hour developmental window, 100 individual papillar cells assemble a multinucleate cytoplasm, allowing passage of proteins of at least 27kDa throughout papillar tissue. Papillar cytoplasm sharing does not employ canonical mechanisms such as failed cytokinesis or muscle fusion pore regulators. Instead, sharing requires gap junction proteins (normally associated with transport of molecules <1kDa), which are positioned by membrane remodeling GTPases. Our work reveals a new role for apical membrane remodeling in converting a multicellular epithelium into a giant multinucleate cytoplasm.


Apical membrane remodeling in a resorptive Drosophila epithelium generates a shared multinuclear cytoplasm.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Peterson, N; Stormo, B; Schoenfelder, K; King, J; Lee, R; Fox, D

Published Date

  • 2020

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1101/2020.02.22.960187