Dynamic changes in the distribution of cytoplasmic myosin during Drosophila embryogenesis.
Dramatic changes in the localization of conventional non-muscle myosin characterize early embryogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster. During cellularization, myosin is concentrated around the furrow canals that form the leading margin of the plasma membrane as it plunges inward to package each somatic nucleus into a columnar epithelial cell. During gastrulation, there is specific anti-myosin staining at the apical ends of those cells that change shape in regions of invagination. Both of these localizations appear to result from a redistribution of a cortical store of maternal myosin. In the preblastoderm embryo, myosin is localized to the egg cortex, sub-cortical arrays of inclusions, and, diffusely, the yolk-free periplasm. At the syncytial blastoderm stage, myosin is found within cytoskeletal caps associated with the somatic nuclei at the embryonic surface. Following the final syncytial division, these myosin caps give rise to the myosin rings observed during cellularization. These distributions are observed with both whole immune serum and affinity-purified antibodies directed against Drosophila non-muscle myosin heavy chain. They are not detected in embryos stained with anti-Drosophila muscle myosin antiserum or with preimmune serum. Although immunolocalization can only suggest possible function, these myosin localizations and the coincident changes in cell morphology are consistent with a key role for non-muscle myosin in powering cellularization and gastrulation during embryogenesis.
Young, PE; Pesacreta, TC; Kiehart, DP
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