Document Detail

Mutations in spalt cause a severe but reversible neurodegenerative phenotype in the embryonic central nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12421699     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The gene spalt is expressed in the embryonic central nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster but its function in this tissue is still unknown. To investigate this question, we used a combination of techniques to analyse spalt mutant embryos. Electron microscopy showed that in the absence of spalt, the central nervous system cells are separated by enlarged extracellular spaces populated by membranous material at 60% of embryonic development. Surprisingly, the central nervous system from slightly older embryos (80% of development) exhibited almost wild-type morphology. An extensive survey by laser confocal microscopy revealed that the spalt mutant central nervous system has abnormal levels of particular cell adhesion and cytoskeletal proteins. Time-lapse analysis of neuronal differentiation in vitro, lineage analysis and transplantation experiments confirmed that the mutation causes cytoskeletal and adhesion defects. The data indicate that in the central nervous system, spalt operates within a regulatory pathway which influences the expression of the beta-catenin Armadillo, its ligand N-Cadherin, Notch, and the cell adhesion molecules Neuroglian, Fasciclin 2 and Fasciclin 3. Effects on the expression of these genes are persistent but many morphological aspects of the phenotype are transient, leading to the concept of sequential redundancy for stable organisation of the central nervous system.
Rafael Cantera; Karin Lüer; Tor Erik Rusten; Rosa Barrio; Fotis C Kafatos; Gerhard M Technau
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Development (Cambridge, England)     Volume:  129     ISSN:  0950-1991     ISO Abbreviation:  Development     Publication Date:  2002 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-11-07     Completed Date:  2003-02-21     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8701744     Medline TA:  Development     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  5577-86     Citation Subset:  IM    
Zoology Department, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Cadherins / metabolism
Cell Adhesion
Cell Differentiation
Cell Lineage
Cells, Cultured
Central Nervous System / embryology*
Cytoskeleton / metabolism
Drosophila Proteins
Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
In Situ Nick-End Labeling
Microscopy, Confocal
Microscopy, Electron
Microscopy, Video
Neurons / cytology
Time Factors
Transcription Factors / genetics*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Cadherins; 0/Drosophila Proteins; 0/Homeodomain Proteins; 0/Ligands; 0/Transcription Factors; 0/sal protein, Drosophila

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