Integration of epithelial patterning and morphogenesis in Drosophila ovarian follicle cells

Dev Dyn. 2000 May;218(1):80-93. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0177(200005)218:1<80::AID-DVDY7>3.0.CO;2-8.


Drosophila oogenesis involves the coordinated development of germ cells and an overlying follicular epithelium. The follicle cells provide a genetically tractable system to investigate the cell biology of patterning and morphogenesis. Follicle cells initially form a cuboidal epithelium surrounding a syncytium of nurse cells and oocyte. Epithelial structure is maintained as these cells reorganize to create the three dimensional architecture of the eggshell. Both long-range and short-range cell-cell communications pattern the domains of follicle cells that will create specific eggshell structures. After terminal differentiation to deposit the eggshell proteins, the follicle cells die. This review summarizes recent progress in understanding the cell-cell communication that orchestrates follicle cell patterning and migrations. DE-cadherin-mediated adhesion is important at several steps in egg chamber formation and follicle cell migration. Notch signaling is critical during each successive round of patterning and migration. Integration of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) signals patterns the elaborate structures of the dorsal-anterior eggshell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / cytology
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Ovarian Follicle / cytology*
  • Ovarian Follicle / embryology*