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Dev Dyn. 2006 Nov;235(11):3051-8.

Localization and requirement for Myosin II at the dorsal-ventral compartment boundary of the Drosophila wing.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Waksman Institute, and Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA.


As organisms develop, their tissues can become separated into distinct cell populations through the establishment of compartment boundaries. Compartment boundaries have been discovered in a wide variety of tissues, but in many cases the molecular mechanisms that separate cells remain poorly understood. In the Drosophila wing, a stripe of Notch activation maintains the dorsal-ventral compartment boundary, through a process that depends on the actin cytoskeleton. Here, we show that the dorsal-ventral boundary exhibits a distinct accumulation of Myosin II, and that this accumulation is regulated downstream of Notch signaling. Conversely, the dorsal-ventral boundary is depleted for the Par-3 homologue Bazooka. We further show that mutations in the Myosin heavy chain subunit encoded by zipper can impair dorsal-ventral compartmentalization without affecting anterior-posterior compartmentalization. These observations identify a distinct accumulation and requirement for Myosin activity in dorsal-ventral compartmentalization, and suggest a novel mechanism in which contractile tension along an F-actin cable at the compartment boundary contributes to compartmentalization.

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