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Development. 2007 Feb;134(4):703-12. Epub 2007 Jan 10.

The Ovhts polyprotein is cleaved to produce fusome and ring canal proteins required for Drosophila oogenesis.

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Departments of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


An essential component of normal development is controlling the transition from cell proliferation to differentiation. One such transition occurs during Drosophila oogenesis. In early oogenesis, germ cells undergo mitotic proliferation and contain a specialized organelle called a fusome, whereas later post-mitotic cells differentiate and lose the fusome as F-actin-rich ring canals form. The hts gene encodes the only Drosophila Adducin, and is a female-sterile mutant that affects both the fusome and ring canals. We show that one Hts protein, Ovhts, is a polyprotein that is cleaved to produce two products, Ovhts-Fus and Ovhts-RC. Whereas Ovhts-Fus localizes to the fusome in mitotic cells, Ovhts-RC localizes to ring canals throughout later oogenesis. We demonstrate that an uncleavable version of Ovhts delays the transition from fusome-containing cells to those that have ring canals. Ovhts is the first polyprotein shown to produce proteins that function in separate structures.

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