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      Sinuous is a Drosophila claudin required for septate junction organization and epithelial tube size control

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          Epithelial tubes of the correct size and shape are vital for the function of the lungs, kidneys, and vascular system, yet little is known about epithelial tube size regulation. Mutations in the Drosophila gene sinuous have previously been shown to cause tracheal tubes to be elongated and have diameter increases. Our genetic analysis using a sinuous null mutation suggests that sinuous functions in the same pathway as the septate junction genes neurexin and scribble, but that nervana 2, convoluted, varicose, and cystic have functions not shared by sinuous. Our molecular analyses reveal that sinuous encodes a claudin that localizes to septate junctions and is required for septate junction organization and paracellular barrier function. These results provide important evidence that the paracellular barriers formed by arthropod septate junctions and vertebrate tight junctions have a common molecular basis despite their otherwise different molecular compositions, morphologies, and subcellular localizations.

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          Most cited references 41

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          We have designed a system for targeted gene expression that allows the selective activation of any cloned gene in a wide variety of tissue- and cell-specific patterns. The gene encoding the yeast transcriptional activator GAL4 is inserted randomly into the Drosophila genome to drive GAL4 expression from one of a diverse array of genomic enhancers. It is then possible to introduce a gene containing GAL4 binding sites within its promoter, to activate it in those cells where GAL4 is expressed, and to observe the effect of this directed misexpression on development. We have used GAL4-directed transcription to expand the domain of embryonic expression of the homeobox protein even-skipped. We show that even-skipped represses wingless and transforms cells that would normally secrete naked cuticle into denticle secreting cells. The GAL4 system can thus be used to study regulatory interactions during embryonic development. In adults, targeted expression can be used to generate dominant phenotypes for use in genetic screens. We have directed expression of an activated form of the Dras2 protein, resulting in dominant eye and wing defects that can be used in screens to identify other members of the Dras2 signal transduction pathway.
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            A hidden Markov model for predicting transmembrane helices in protein sequences.

            A novel method to model and predict the location and orientation of alpha helices in membrane-spanning proteins is presented. It is based on a hidden Markov model (HMM) with an architecture that corresponds closely to the biological system. The model is cyclic with 7 types of states for helix core, helix caps on either side, loop on the cytoplasmic side, two loops for the non-cytoplasmic side, and a globular domain state in the middle of each loop. The two loop paths on the non-cytoplasmic side are used to model short and long loops separately, which corresponds biologically to the two known different membrane insertions mechanisms. The close mapping between the biological and computational states allows us to infer which parts of the model architecture are important to capture the information that encodes the membrane topology, and to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms and constraints involved. Models were estimated both by maximum likelihood and a discriminative method, and a method for reassignment of the membrane helix boundaries were developed. In a cross validated test on single sequences, our transmembrane HMM, TMHMM, correctly predicts the entire topology for 77% of the sequences in a standard dataset of 83 proteins with known topology. The same accuracy was achieved on a larger dataset of 160 proteins. These results compare favourably with existing methods.
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              Pfam is a large collection of protein multiple sequence alignments and profile hidden Markov models. Pfam is available on the World Wide Web in the UK at, in Sweden at, in France at and in the US at The latest version (6.6) of Pfam contains 3071 families, which match 69% of proteins in SWISS-PROT 39 and TrEMBL 14. Structural data, where available, have been utilised to ensure that Pfam families correspond with structural domains, and to improve domain-based annotation. Predictions of non-domain regions are now also included. In addition to secondary structure, Pfam multiple sequence alignments now contain active site residue mark-up. New search tools, including taxonomy search and domain query, greatly add to the functionality and usability of the Pfam resource.

                Author and article information

                J Cell Biol
                The Journal of Cell Biology
                The Rockefeller University Press
                19 January 2004
                : 164
                : 2
                : 313-323
                [1 ]Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208
                [2 ]Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G5, Canada
                Author notes

                Address correspondence to Greg Beitel, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Hogan Hall, Rm. 2-100, Northwestern University, 2205 Tech Drive, Evanston, IL 60208-3500. Tel.: (847) 467-7776. Fax: (847) 467-1380. email: beitel@

                Copyright © 2004, The Rockefeller University Press

                Cell biology

                tight junction; drosophila; epithelial cell; trachea; morphogenesis


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