A Morpholino oligo can modify splicing of a pre-mRNA - www.gene-tools.com



In metazoan development, the precise mechanisms that regulate the completion of morphogenesis according to a developmental timetable remain elusive. The Drosophila male terminalia is an asymmetric looping organ; the internal genitalia (spermiduct) loops dextrally around the hindgut. Mutants for apoptotic signaling have an orientation defect of their male terminalia, indicating that apoptosis contributes to the looping morphogenesis. However, the physiological roles of apoptosis in the looping morphogenesis of male terminalia have been unclear. Here, we show the role of apoptosis in the organogenesis of male terminalia using time-lapse imaging. In normal flies, genitalia rotation accelerated as development proceeded, and completed a full 360° rotation. This acceleration was impaired when the activity of caspases or JNK or PVF/PVR signaling was reduced. Acceleration was induced by two distinct subcompartments of the A8 segment that formed a ring shape and surrounded the male genitalia: the inner ring rotated with the genitalia and the outer ring rotated later, functioning as a ‘moving walkway’ to accelerate the inner ring rotation. A quantitative analysis combining the use of a FRET-based indicator for caspase activation with single-cell tracking showed that the timing and degree of apoptosis correlated with the movement of the outer ring, and upregulation of the apoptotic signal increased the speed of genital rotation. Therefore, apoptosis coordinates the outer ring movement that drives the acceleration of genitalia rotation, thereby enabling the complete morphogenesis of male genitalia within a limited developmental time frame.

  • Accepted February 2, 2011.
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