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Development. 1997 Apr;124(7):1419-31.

The Drosophila gene fs(2)cup interacts with otu to define a cytoplasmic pathway required for the structure and function of germ-line chromosomes.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Laboratories, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore, MD 21210, USA.


The Drosophila ovarian tumor gene (otu) encodes cytoplasmic proteins that are required in germ-line cells for cyst formation, nurse cell chromosome structure and egg maturation. We have analyzed a gene, fs(2)cup, that participates in many of the same processes and interacts with otu genetically. Both nurse cell and oocyte chromosomes require cup to attain a normal morphology. In addition, the gene is needed for the oocyte to grow normally by taking up materials transported from the nurse cells. The gene encodes a 1132-amino-acid protein containing a putative membrane-spanning domain. Cup protein (but not cup RNA) is transported selectively into the oocyte in germarial cysts, like the p104 Otu protein. It is strongly associated with large structures in the cytoplasm and perinuclear region of nurse cells and, like Otu, moves to the periphery of these cells in stages 9-10. Moreover, cup mutations dominantly disrupt meiotic chromosome segregation. We propose that cup, otu and another interacting gene, fs(2)B, take part in a common cytoplasmic pathway with multiple functions during oogenesis.

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