Intercellular signalling, cell fate and cell shape in the Drosophila pupal wing

Maartens, Aidan Patrick (2012) Intercellular signalling, cell fate and cell shape in the Drosophila pupal wing. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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The morphogenesis of tissues in animal development is orchestrated by intercellular signalling and executed by cell behaviours such as changes to shape. Understanding the link between signalling and cell shape changes is a key task of developmental biology. This work addresses this problem using the development of the pupal wing of Drosophila melanogaster. The pupal wing is a bilayered epithelium which is patterned into vein and intervein domains, and which secretes the cuticle of the adult wing. I first address the cellular basis of pupal wing development, and show that the process comprises a series of dynamic cell shape changes involving alterations to the apical and basolateral surfaces of the cells. Using temporally controlled mis-expression, I then investigate the role of intercellular signalling in these shape changes, and define the competence of cells in the wing to respond to ectopic signals. The dimensions of signalling in the pupal wing are then investigated, and I show that while BMP ligands can travel between the layers to promote vein development, such signalling is not a prerequisite for cellular differentiation. Within the plane of the epithelium, the BMP ligand Dpp can only induce signalling at a short range, potentially due to the upregulation of receptor levels in receiving cells. Finally, attention is turned to the means by which cell signalling controls cell shape changes, specifically in the crossveins. I identify the RhoGAP Cv-c as a downstream target of BMP signalling which acts to inhibit a novel RhoGTPase function in intervein development. This provides an example of how signalling pathways can enact cell shape changes, via the transcriptional regulation of RhoGAPs

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0360 Invertebrates > QL0434 Arthropoda > QL0463 Insects
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 18 May 2012 08:43
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2015 13:47

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