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Genetika. 2010 Mar;46(3):314-20.

[Drosophila melanogaster gene Merlin interacts with the clathrin adaptor protein gene lap].

[Article in Russian]


The protein Merlin is involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation in the eyes and wings of Drosophila and is a homolog of the human protein encoded by the Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) gene whose mutations cause auricular nerve tumors. Recent studies show that Merlin and Expanded cooperatively regulate the recycling of membrane receptors, such as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). By performing a search for potential genetic interactions between Merlin (Mer) and the genes important for vesicular trafficking, we found that ectopic expression in the wing pouch of the clathrin adapter protein Lap involved in clathrin-mediated receptor endocytosis resulted in the formation of extra vein materials. On the one hand, coexpression of wild-type Merlin and lap in the wing pouch restored normal venation, while overexpression of a dominant-negative mutant Mer(DBB) together with lap enhanced ectopic vein formation. Using various constructs with Merlin truncated copies, we showed the C-terminal portion of the Merlin protein to be responsible for the Merlin-lap genetic interaction. Furthermore, we showed that the Merlin and Lap proteins colocalized at the cortex of the wing imaginal disc cells.

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