Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology
Cell Biology | Developmental Biology
The septate junction (SJ) is the occluding junction found in the ectodermal epithelia of invertebrate organisms, and is essential to maintain chemically distinct compartments in epithelial organs, to provide the blood-brain barrier in the nervous system, and to provide an important line of defense against invading pathogens. More than 20 genes have been identified to function in the establishment or maintenance of SJs in Drosophila melanogaster Numerous studies have demonstrated the cell biological function of these proteins in establishing the occluding junction, whereas very few studies have examined further developmental roles for them. Here we examined embryos with mutations in nine different core SJ genes and found that all nine result in defects in embryonic development as early as germ band retraction, with the most penetrant defect observed in head involution. SJ genes are also required for cell shape changes and cell rearrangements that drive the elongation of the salivary gland during midembryogenesis. Interestingly, these developmental events occur at a time prior to the formation of the occluding junction, when SJ proteins localize along the lateral membrane and have not yet coalesced into the region of the SJ. Together, these observations reveal an underappreciated role for a large group of SJ genes in essential developmental events during embryogenesis, and suggest that the function of these proteins in facilitating cell shape changes and rearrangements is independent of their role in the occluding junction.
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Citation: G3 (Bethesda). 2016 Aug 9;6(8):2375-84. doi: 10.1534/g3.116.031427. Link to article on publisher's site
Copyright © 2016 Hall and Ward. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI of Published Version
dorsal closure, head involution, morphogenesis, salivary glands, septate junction
G3 (Bethesda, Md.)
Hall, Sonia and Ward, Robert E. 4th, "Septate Junction Proteins Play Essential Roles in Morphogenesis Throughout Embryonic Development in Drosophila" (2016). Open Access Articles. 2813.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.