The Canoe protein is necessary in adherens junctions for development of ommatidial architecture in the Drosophila compound eye

Cell Tissue Res. 1999 Dec;298(3):397-404. doi: 10.1007/s004419900107.


Rhabdomeres of the Drosophila melanogaster canoemisl mutant ommatidia were twisted, branched, and often fused to each other. A considerable proportion of rhabdomeres were found to have fallen below the retinal basement membrane. Electron-microscopic observations of the mutant ommatidia revealed that microvilli, the subcellular structures composing the rhabdome, were normal. As was the case with partial loss-of-function mutations in the canoe locus, overexpression of the wild-type canoe transgene driven by the heat shock promoter or sevenless enhancer in the wild-type canoe background caused malformation of the rhabdomeres in the adult ommatidia. Immunolabeling of the Canoe protein in the pupal retinae showed that it was accumulated in adherens junctions in photoreceptor rhabdomeres at high concentrations, as well as in pigment cells, bristle cells, and the interjunctional region of photoreceptors at a lower level. In the canoe mutant ommatidia, the Canoe protein concentration was dramatically decreased in adherens junctions, while it was maintained at a level comparable with the wild-type flies in the interjunctional region. Since Canoe or its mammalian homolog AF-6 is known to bind to F-actin and Ras, we suggest the possibility that Canoe couples Ras signaling with cytoskeleton, thereby supporting the straight elongation of rhabdomeres required for development of a regular array of ommatidia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Eye / cytology
  • Eye / growth & development*
  • Eye Proteins / genetics*
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Homozygote
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism
  • Intercellular Junctions / chemistry
  • Intercellular Junctions / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Mutation / physiology
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate / growth & development
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate / physiology
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate / ultrastructure*
  • Pupa / growth & development
  • Pupa / ultrastructure


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • cno protein, Drosophila