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Cell Res. 1998 Dec;8(4):273-84.

Posterior gut development in Drosophila: a model system for identifying genes controlling epithelial morphogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California at Los Angeles 90095-1606, USA. jlengyel@ucla.edu


The posterior gut of the Drosophila embryo, consisting of hindgut and Malpighian tubules, provides a simple, well-defined system where it is possible to use a genetic approach to define components essential for epithelial morphogenesis. We review here the advantages of Drosophila as a model genetic organism, the morphogenesis of the epithelial structures of the posterior gut, and what is known about the genetic requirements to form these structures. In overview, primordia are patterned by expression of hierarchies of transcription factors; this leads to localized expression of cell signaling molecules, and finally, to the least understood step: modulation of cell adhesion and cell shape. We describe approaches to identify additional genes that are required for morphogenesis of these simple epithelia, particularly those that might play a structural role by affecting cell adhesion and cell shape.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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