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Genetics. 2001 Oct;159(2):609-22.

Ras1 interacts with multiple new signaling and cytoskeletal loci in Drosophila eggshell patterning and morphogenesis.

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1
Department of Biology, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington 99362, USA. schnorr@pacificu.edu

Abstract

Little is known about the genes that interact with Ras signaling pathways to regulate morphogenesis. The synthesis of dorsal eggshell structures in Drosophila melanogaster requires multiple rounds of Ras signaling followed by dramatic epithelial sheet movements. We took advantage of this process to identify genes that link patterning and morphogenesis; we screened lethal mutations on the second chromosome for those that could enhance a weak Ras1 eggshell phenotype. Of 1618 lethal P-element mutations tested, 13 showed significant enhancement, resulting in forked and fused dorsal appendages. Our genetic and molecular analyses together with information from the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project reveal that 11 of these lines carry mutations in previously characterized genes. Three mutations disrupt the known Ras1 cell signaling components Star, Egfr, and Blistered, while one mutation disrupts Sec61beta, implicated in ligand secretion. Seven lines represent cell signaling and cytoskeletal components that are new to the Ras1 pathway; these are Chickadee (Profilin), Tec29, Dreadlocks, POSH, Peanut, Smt3, and MESK2, a suppressor of dominant-negative Ksr. A twelfth insertion disrupts two genes, Nrk, a "neurospecific" receptor tyrosine kinase, and Tpp, which encodes a neuropeptidase. These results suggest that Ras1 signaling during oogenesis involves novel components that may be intimately associated with additional signaling processes and with the reorganization of the cytoskeleton. To determine whether these Ras1 Enhancers function upstream or downstream of the Egf receptor, four mutations were tested for their ability to suppress an activated Egfr construct (lambdatop) expressed in oogenesis exclusively in the follicle cells. Mutations in Star and l(2)43Bb had no significant effect upon the lambdatop eggshell defect whereas smt3 and dock alleles significantly suppressed the lambdatop phenotype.

PMID:
11606538
PMCID:
PMC1461825
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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