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Methods Cell Biol. 2013;118:35-49. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-417164-0.00003-3.

Trafficking along the secretory pathway in Drosophila cell line and tissues: a light and electron microscopy approach.

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  • 1Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


In the past, Drosophila has been used for molecular and developmental biology studies that have led to many important conceptual advances. In the last decade, this model organism has also been utilized to address cell biology issues, in particular those related to membrane traffic through the secretory pathway. This has confirmed that the functional organization of the secretory pathway is conserved and it allowed further integrating secretion to signaling and development. Furthermore, Drosophila tissue culture S2 cells have been the basis of many RNAi screens, some addressing aspects of the functional organization of the secretory pathway and others identifying proteins of the secretory pathway in seemingly unrelated processes. Taken together, studying the protein trafficking and the organization of the secretory pathway both in S2 cells and in tissues has become important. Here, we review light and electron microscopy techniques applied to Drosophila that allow gaining insight into the secretory pathway, and can easily be extended to other cell biology-related fields.


Anterograde protein transport assay; Copper sulfate-inducible expression; Drosophila; ER exit sites; Golgi; Immunofluorescence; Light and electron microscopy; RNAi; S2 cells; Sec16; Secretory pathway; Transfection

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