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Nat Cell Biol. 2005 May;7(5):510-6. Epub 2005 Apr 24.

Integrin-independent repression of cadherin transcription by talin during axis formation in Drosophila.

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Institut Jacques-Monod, CNRS, Universités Paris 6 et 7, 2, place Jussieu, F-75251 Paris Cedex 05, France.


The Drosophila melanogaster anterior-posterior axis becomes polarized early during oogenesis by the posterior localization of the oocyte within the egg chamber. The invariant position of the oocyte is thought to be driven by an upregulation of the adhesion molecule DE-cadherin in the oocyte and the posterior somatic follicle cells, providing the first in vivo example of cell sorting that is specified by quantitative differences in cell-cell adhesion. However, it has remained unclear how DE-cadherin levels are regulated. Here, we show that talin, known for its role in linking integrins to the actin cytoskeleton, has the unexpected function of specifically inhibiting DE-cadherin transcription. Follicle cells that are mutant for talin show a strikingly high level of DE-cadherin, due to elevated transcription of DE-cadherin. We demonstrate that this deregulation of DE-cadherin is sufficient to attract the oocyte to lateral and anterior positions. Surprisingly, this function of talin is independent of integrins. These results uncover a new role for talin in regulating cadherin-mediated cell adhesion.

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