crinkled reveals a new role for Wingless signaling in Drosophila denticle formation.
The specification of the body plan in vertebrates and invertebrates is controlled by a variety of cell signaling pathways, but how signaling output is translated into morphogenesis is an ongoing question. Here, we describe genetic interactions between the Wingless (Wg) signaling pathway and a nonmuscle myosin heavy chain, encoded by the crinkled (ck) locus in Drosophila. In a screen for mutations that modify wg loss-of-function phenotypes, we isolated multiple independent alleles of ck. These ck mutations dramatically alter the morphology of the hook-shaped denticles that decorate the ventral surface of the wg mutant larval cuticle. In an otherwise wild-type background, ck mutations do not significantly alter denticle morphology, suggesting a specific interaction with Wg-mediated aspects of epidermal patterning. Here, we show that changing the level of Wg activity changes the structure of actin bundles during denticle formation in ck mutants. We further find that regulation of the Wg target gene, shaven-baby (svb), and of its transcriptional targets, miniature (m) and forked (f), modulates this ck-dependent process. We conclude that Ck acts in concert with Wg targets to orchestrate the proper shaping of denticles in the Drosophila embryonic epidermis.
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