Modulation of Morphogenesis by Egfr during Dorsal Closure in Drosophila

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During Drosophila embryogenesis the process of dorsal closure (DC) results in continuity of the embryonic epidermis, and DC is well recognized as a model system for the analysis of epithelial morphogenesis as well as wound healing. During DC the flanking lateral epidermal sheets stretch, align, and fuse along the dorsal midline, thereby sealing a hole in the epidermis occupied by an extra-embryonic tissue known as the amnioserosa (AS). Successful DC requires the regulation of cell shape change via actomyosin contractility in both the epidermis and the AS, and this involves bidirectional communication between these two tissues. We previously demonstrated that transcriptional regulation of myosin from the zipper (zip) locus in both the epidermis and the AS involves the expression of Ack family tyrosine kinases in the AS in conjunction with Dpp secreted from the epidermis. A major function of Ack in other species, however, involves the negative regulation of Egfr. We have, therefore, asked what role Egfr might play in the regulation of DC. Our studies demonstrate that Egfr is required to negatively regulate epidermal expression of dpp during DC. Interestingly, we also find that Egfr signaling in the AS is required to repress zip expression in both the AS and the epidermis, and this may be generally restrictive to the progression of morphogenesis in these tissues. Consistent with this theme of restricting morphogenesis, it has previously been shown that programmed cell death of the AS is essential for proper DC, and we show that Egfr signaling also functions to inhibit or delay AS programmed cell death. Finally, we present evidence that Ack regulates zip expression by promoting the endocytosis of Egfr in the AS. We propose that the general role of Egfr signaling during DC is that of a braking mechanism on the overall progression of DC.
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Shen W, Chen X, Cormier O, Cheng DC-P, Reed B, et al. (2013) Modulation of Morphogenesis by Egfr during Dorsal Closure in Drosophila. PLoS ONE 8(4): e60180. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060180
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Modulation of Morphogenesis by Egfr during Dorsal Closure in Drosophila
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