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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Dec 4;98(25):14469-74.

Bazooka is required for localization of determinants and controlling proliferation in the sensory organ precursor cell lineage in Drosophila.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0725, USA.


Asymmetric divisions with two different division orientations follow different polarity cues for the asymmetric segregation of determinants in the sensory organ precursor (SOP) lineage. The first asymmetric division depends on frizzled function and has the mitotic spindle of the pI cell in the epithelium oriented along the anterior-posterior axis, giving rise to pIIa and pIIb, which divide in different orientations. Only the pIIb division resembles neuroblast division in daughter-size asymmetry, spindle orientation along the apical-basal axis, basal Numb localization, and requirement for inscuteable function. Because the PDZ domain protein Bazooka is required for spindle orientation and basal localization of Numb in neuroblasts, we wondered whether Bazooka plays a similar role in the pIIb in the SOP lineage. Surprisingly, Bazooka controls asymmetric localization of the Numb-anchoring protein Pon, but not spindle orientation, in pI and all subsequent divisions. Bazooka also regulates cell proliferation in the SOP lineage; loss of bazooka function results in supernumerary cell divisions and apoptotic cell death.

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