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BMC Dev Biol. 2010 Feb 23;10:23. doi: 10.1186/1471-213X-10-23.

Spatial discontinuity of optomotor-blind expression in the Drosophila wing imaginal disc disrupts epithelial architecture and promotes cell sorting.

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1
Department of Entomology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Decapentaplegic (Dpp) is one of the best characterized morphogens, required for dorso-ventral patterning of the Drosophila embryo and for anterior-posterior (A/P) patterning of the wing imaginal disc. In the larval wing pouch, the Dpp target gene optomotor-blind (omb) is generally assumed to be expressed in a step function above a certain threshold of Dpp signaling activity.

RESULTS:

We show that the transcription factor Omb forms, in fact, a symmetrical gradient on both sides of the A/P compartment boundary. Disruptions of the Omb gradient lead to a re-organization of the epithelial cytoskeleton and to a retraction of cells toward the basal membrane suggesting that the Omb gradient is required for correct epithelial morphology. Moreover, by analysing the shape of omb gain- and loss-of-function clones, we find that Omb promotes cell sorting along the A/P axis in a concentration-dependent manner.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings show that Omb distribution in the wing imaginal disc is described by a gradient rather than a step function. Graded Omb expression is necessary for normal cell morphogenesis and cell affinity and sharp spatial discontinuities must be avoided to allow normal wing development.

PMID:
20178599
PMCID:
PMC2838827
DOI:
10.1186/1471-213X-10-23
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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