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Dev Biol. 1995 Oct;171(2):415-33.

Integrins and the development of three-dimensional structure in the Drosophila compound eye.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.


A stereotyped, three-dimensional network of cell-cell contacts mediated by adherens junctions and cell-extracellular matrix contacts mediated by focal adhesions defines the architecture of the Drosophila ommatidium. Developmental reconstruction shows that this network is built in an incremental and generally conservative sequence; contacts established early in eye development typically persist into adulthood. Reconstructions show that photoreceptor apical surfaces are involuted into the retinal epithelium and are subsequently elaborated to form the photosensitive rhabdomeres. Rhabdomeres become aligned to the ommatidial optical axis via their anchorage to the retinal floor at the cone cell plate, a specialized nexus of cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix contacts. Parallel reconstructions of retinal development in integrin mutants show that several eye phenotypes trace their origin to the structural failure of the cone cell plate.

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