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Cell. 1989 Feb 10;56(3):401-8.

The function of PS integrins during Drosophila embryogenesis.

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England.


The Drosophila position-specific (PS) antigens are homologous to the vertebrate fibronectin receptor family, or integrins. A Drosophila gene required for embryonic morphogenesis, l(1)myospheroid, codes for a product homologous to the beta subunit of the vertebrate integrins. l(1)myospheroid mutants die during embryogenesis. We show here that they lack the beta subunit of the PS antigens. In the absence of the beta subunit in mutant embryos, the PS alpha subunits are not expressed on the cell surface. We conclude that the l(1)myospheroid phenotype represents the lack-of-function phenotype for these Drosophila integrins. In wild-type embryos, PS antigens are found at the interface between mesoderm and ectoderm, and later mainly at the attachment sites of muscles to the epidermis and gut. Together these results indicate that during embryogenesis, Drosophila integrins are used to attach mesoderm to ectoderm, and are required for the proper assembly of the extracellular matrix and for muscle attachment.

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