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Development. 1994 Apr;120(4):717-28.

Profilin mutations disrupt multiple actin-dependent processes during Drosophila development.

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Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


The chickadee gene of Drosophila encodes profilin, a small actin binding protein. We present the first analysis of the effects of profilin deletion in a multicellular organism. Genomic deletions of the chickadee locus result in a late embryonic lethal phenotype indicating that profilin is essential in flies. In addition, viable alleles of chickadee with defects in oogenesis, spermatogenesis and bristle formation provide insight into profilin function in a variety of cell types. Defects in oogenesis include the previously described failure to assemble nurse cell actin filament bundles in addition to abnormal regulation of mitosis, binucleate cells and stalled cell migration. Malformed bristles are a result of aberrant actin assembly. Monoclonal antibodies against Drosophila profilin were generated to study profilin's cellular and subcellular localization.

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