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Cell. 1992 Apr 3;69(1):173-84.

chickadee encodes a profilin required for intercellular cytoplasm transport during Drosophila oogenesis.

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Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


The entire cytoplasmic contents of 15 highly polyploid nurse cells are transported rapidly to the oocyte near the end of Drosophila oogenesis. chickadee is one of a small group of genes whose mutant phenotype includes a disruption of this nurse cell cytoplasm transport. We have cloned the chickadee gene and found that cDNA clones encode a protein 40% identical to yeast and Acanthamoeba profilin. The nurse cells from chickadee egg chambers that lack ovary-specific profilin fail to synthesize cytoplasmic actin networks correctly. In addition, the nurse cell nuclei in chickadee egg chambers become displaced and often partially stretched through the channels leading into the oocyte, blocking the flow of cytoplasm. We suggest that the newly synthesized cytoplasmic actin networks are responsible for maintaining nuclear position in the nurse cells.

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