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      Cell wound repair in Drosophila occurs through three distinct phases of membrane and cytoskeletal remodeling

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          Single-cell wound repair in Drosophila involves mechanistically distinct expansion, contraction, and closure phases.


          When single cells or tissues are injured, the wound must be repaired quickly in order to prevent cell death, loss of tissue integrity, and invasion by microorganisms. We describe Drosophila as a genetically tractable model to dissect the mechanisms of single-cell wound repair. By analyzing the expression and the effects of perturbations of actin, myosin, microtubules, E-cadherin, and the plasma membrane, we define three distinct phases in the repair process—expansion, contraction, and closure—and identify specific components required during each phase. Specifically, plasma membrane mobilization and assembly of a contractile actomyosin ring are required for this process. In addition, E-cadherin accumulates at the wound edge, and wound expansion is excessive in E-cadherin mutants, suggesting a role for E-cadherin in anchoring the actomyosin ring to the plasma membrane. Our results show that single-cell wound repair requires specific spatial and temporal cytoskeleton responses with distinct components and mechanisms required at different stages of the process.

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          Most cited references 31

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          A protein trap strategy to detect GFP-tagged proteins expressed from their endogenous loci in Drosophila.

          In Drosophila, enhancer trap strategies allow rapid access to expression patterns, molecular data, and mutations in trapped genes. However, they do not give any information at the protein level, e.g., about the protein subcellular localization. Using the green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a mobile artificial exon carried by a transposable P-element, we have developed a protein trap system. We screened for individual flies, in which GFP tags full-length endogenous proteins expressed from their endogenous locus, allowing us to observe their cellular and subcellular distribution. GFP fusions are targeted to virtually any compartment of the cell. In the case of insertions in previously known genes, we observe that the subcellular localization of the fusion protein corresponds to the described distribution of the endogenous protein. The artificial GFP exon does not disturb upstream and downstream splicing events. Many insertions correspond to genes not predicted by the Drosophila Genome Project. Our results show the feasibility of a protein trap in Drosophila. GFP reveals in real time the dynamics of protein's distribution in the whole, live organism and provides useful markers for a number of cellular structures and compartments.
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            Dystrophin protects the sarcolemma from stresses developed during muscle contraction.

            The protein dystrophin, normally found on the cytoplasmic surface of skeletal muscle cell membranes, is absent in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy as well as mdx (X-linked muscular dystrophy) mice. Although its primary structure has been determined, the precise functional role of dystrophin remains the subject of speculation. In the present study, we demonstrate that dystrophin-deficient muscle fibers of the mdx mouse exhibit an increased susceptibility to contraction-induced sarcolemmal rupture. The level of sarcolemmal damage is directly correlated with the magnitude of mechanical stress placed upon the membrane during contraction rather than the number of activations of the muscle. These findings strongly support the proposition that the primary function of dystrophin is to provide mechanical reinforcement to the sarcolemma and thereby protect it from the membrane stresses developed during muscle contraction. Furthermore, the methodology used in this study should prove useful in assessing the efficacy of dystrophin gene therapy in the mdx mouse.
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              Studies of nuclear and cytoplasmic behaviour during the five mitotic cycles that precede gastrulation in Drosophila embryogenesis.

              Using differential interference contrast optics, combined with cinematography, we have studied the morphological changes that the living, syncytial embryo undergoes from stage 10 through 14 of Drosophila embryogenesis, that is just prior to and during formation of the cellular blastoderm. We have supplemented these studies with data collected from fixed, stained, whole embryos. The following information has been obtained. The average duration of nuclear cycles 10, 11, 12 and 13 is about 9, 10, 12 and 21 min, respectively (25 degrees C). In these four cycles, the duration of that portion of the mitotic period that lacks a discrete nuclear envelope is 3, 3, 3 and 5 min, respectively. The length of nuclear cycle 14 varies in a position-specific manner throughout the embryo, the shortest cycles being of 65 min duration. During nuclear cycles 10 through 13, it is commonly observed in living embryos that the syncytial blastoderm nuclei enter (and leave) mitosis in one of two waves that originate nearly simultaneously from the opposite anterior and posterior poles of the embryo, and terminate in its midregion. From our preparations of quick-frozen embryos, we estimate that these mitotic waves take on average about half a minute to travel over the embryonic surface from pole to equator. The yolk nuclei, which remain in the core of the embryo when the rest of the nuclei migrate to the periphery, divide in synchrony with the migrating nuclei at nuclear cycles 8 and 9, and just after the now peripherally located nuclei at nuclear cycle 10. After cycle 10, these yolk nuclei cease dividing and become polyploid. The syncytial embryo has at least three distinct levels of cytoskeletal organization: structured domains of cytoplasm are organized around each blastoderm nucleus; radially directed tracks orient colchicine-sensitive saltatory transport throughout the peripheral cytoplasm; and a long-range organization of the core of the embryo makes possible coherent movements of the large inner yolk mass in concert with each nuclear cycle. This highly organized cytoplasm may be involved in providing positional information for the important process of nuclear determination that is known to occur during these stages.

                Author and article information

                J Cell Biol
                J. Cell Biol
                The Journal of Cell Biology
                The Rockefeller University Press
                2 May 2011
                : 193
                : 3
                : 455-464
                Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109
                Author notes
                Correspondence to Susan M. Parkhurst: susanp@
                © 2011 Abreu-Blanco et al.

                This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at

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