A genetic link between morphogenesis and cell division during formation of the ventral furrow in Drosophila

Cell. 2000 May 26;101(5):523-31. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80862-4.


Stages in development with rapid transitions between mitosis and morphogenesis may require specific mechanisms to coordinate cell shape change. Here we describe a novel mitotic inhibitor that acts during Drosophila gastrulation to counteract String/Cdc25, specifically in the cells that invaginate to form the mesoderm. We have identified two genes, frühstart and tribbles, that are required for this ventral inhibition. tribbles encodes a kinase-related protein whose RNA, however, is also present outside of the ventral region. Effective inhibition of mitosis in the cells of the ventral furrow depends on the transcription factor Snail that triggers the ventral cell shape changes. When overexpressed in a microinjection assay, Tribbles directly inhibits mitosis. We propose that Frühstart and Tribbles form a link between the morphogenetic movements and mitotic control.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Division
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Insect
  • Genetic Linkage*
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mesoderm
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / metabolism
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Zygote


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • trbl protein, Drosophila
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases
  • stg protein, Drosophila