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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 25;8(7):e70502. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070502. Print 2013.

Protein phosphatase 1ß limits ring canal constriction during Drosophila germline cyst formation.

Author information

1
Program in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America.

Abstract

Germline cyst formation is essential for the propagation of many organisms including humans and flies. The cytoplasm of germline cyst cells communicate with each other directly via large intercellular bridges called ring canals. Ring canals are often derived from arrested contractile rings during incomplete cytokinesis. However how ring canal formation, maintenance and growth are regulated remains unclear. To better understand this process, we carried out an unbiased genetic screen in Drosophila melanogaster germ cells and identified multiple alleles of flapwing (flw), a conserved serine/threonine-specific protein phosphatase. Flw had previously been reported to be unnecessary for early D. melanogaster oogenesis using a hypomorphic allele. We found that loss of Flw leads to over-constricted nascent ring canals and subsequently tiny mature ring canals, through which cytoplasmic transfer from nurse cells to the oocyte is impaired, resulting in small, non-functional eggs. Flw is expressed in germ cells undergoing incomplete cytokinesis, completely colocalized with the Drosophila myosin binding subunit of myosin phosphatase (DMYPT). This colocalization, together with genetic interaction studies, suggests that Flw functions together with DMYPT to negatively regulate myosin activity during ring canal formation. The identification of two subunits of the tripartite myosin phosphatase as the first two main players required for ring canal constriction indicates that tight regulation of myosin activity is essential for germline cyst formation and reproduction in D. melanogaster and probably other species as well.

PMID:
23936219
PMCID:
PMC3723691
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0070502
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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