Division of labor: subsets of dorsal-appendage-forming cells control the shape of the entire tube.
The function of an organ relies on its form, which in turn depends on the individual shapes of the cells that create it and the interactions between them. Despite remarkable progress in the field of developmental biology, how cells collaborate to make a tissue remains an unsolved mystery. To investigate the mechanisms that determine organ structure, we are studying the cells that form the dorsal appendages (DAs) of the Drosophila melanogaster eggshell. These cells consist of two differentially patterned subtypes: roof cells, which form the outward-facing roof of the lumen, and floor cells, which dive underneath the roof cells to seal off the floor of the tube. In this paper, we present three lines of evidence that reveal a further stratification of the DA-forming epithelium. Laser ablation of only a few cells in the anterior of the region causes a disproportionately severe shortening of the appendage. Genetic alteration through the twin peaks allele of tramtrack69 (ttk(twk)), a female-sterile mutation that leads to severely shortened DAs, causes no such shortening when removed from a majority of the DA-forming cells, but rather, produces short appendages only when removed from cells in the very anterior of the tube-forming tissue. Additionally we show that heterotrimeric G-protein function is required for DA morphogenesis. Like TTK69, Gbeta 13F is not required in all DA-forming follicle cells but only in the floor and leading roof cells. The different phenotypes that result from removal of Gbeta 13F from each region demonstrate a striking division of function between different DA-forming cells. Gbeta mutant floor cells are unable to control the width of the appendage while Gbeta mutant leading roof cells fail to direct the elongation of the appendage and the convergent-extension of the roof-cell population.
Boyle, MJ; French, RL; Cosand, KA; Dorman, JB; Kiehart, DP; Berg, CA
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