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J Cell Sci. 2019 Aug 7;132(15). pii: jcs228338. doi: 10.1242/jcs.228338.

Cytocortex-dependent dynamics of Drosophila Crumbs controls junctional stability and tension during germ band retraction.

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Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, 01307 Dresden, Germany


During morphogenesis, epithelia undergo dynamic rearrangements, which requires continuous remodelling of junctions and cell shape, but at the same time mechanisms preserving cell polarity and tissue integrity. Apico-basal polarity is key for the localisation of the machinery that enables cell shape changes. The evolutionarily conserved Drosophila Crumbs protein is critical for maintaining apico-basal polarity and epithelial integrity. How Crumbs is maintained in a dynamically developing embryo remains largely unknown. Here, we applied quantitative fluorescence techniques to show that, during germ band retraction, Crumbs dynamics correlates with the morphogenetic activity of the epithelium. Genetic and pharmacological perturbations revealed that the mobile pool of Crumbs is fine-tuned by the actomyosin cortex in a stage-dependent manner. Stabilisation of Crumbs at the plasma membrane depends on a proper link to the actomyosin cortex via an intact FERM-domain-binding site in its intracellular domain, loss of which leads to increased junctional tension and higher DE-cadherin (also known as Shotgun) turnover, resulting in impaired junctional rearrangements. These data define Crumbs as a mediator between polarity and junctional regulation to orchestrate epithelial remodelling in response to changes in actomyosin activity.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.


Apical; FERM protein; FRAP; Moesin; Morphogenesis; βH-spectrin


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