Genetic interactions between the RhoA and Stubble-stubbloid loci suggest a role for a type II transmembrane serine protease in intracellular signaling during Drosophila imaginal disc morphogenesis.
The Drosophila RhoA (Rho1) GTPase is essential for postembryonic morphogenesis of leg and wing imaginal discs. Mutations in RhoA enhance leg and wing defects associated with mutations in zipper, the gene encoding the heavy chain of nonmuscle myosin II. We demonstrate here that mutations affecting the RhoA signaling pathway also interact genetically with mutations in the Stubble-stubbloid (Sb-sbd) locus that encodes an unusual type II transmembrane serine protease required for normal leg and wing morphogenesis. In addition, a leg malformation phenotype associated with overexpression of Sb-sbd in prepupal leg discs is suppressed when RhoA gene dose is reduced, suggesting that RhoA and Sb-sbd act in a common pathway during leg morphogenesis. We also characterized six mutations identified as enhancers of zipper mutant leg defects. Three of these genes encode known members of the RhoA signaling pathway (RhoA, DRhoGEF2, and zipper). The remaining three enhancer of zipper mutations interact genetically with both RhoA and Sb-sbd mutations, suggesting that they encode additional components of the RhoA signaling pathway in imaginal discs. Our results provide evidence that the type II transmembrane serine proteases, a class of proteins linked to human developmental abnormalities and pathology, may be associated with intracellular signaling required for normal development.
Bayer, CA; Halsell, SR; Fristrom, JW; Kiehart, DP; von Kalm, L
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