Drosophila tracheal system formation involves FGF-dependent cell extensions contacting bridge-cells

EMBO Rep. 2002 Jun;3(6):563-8. doi: 10.1093/embo-reports/kvf115. Epub 2002 May 24.


Development of the ectodermally derived Drosophila tracheal system is based on branch outgrowth and fusion that interconnect metamerically arranged tracheal subunits into a highly stereotyped three-dimensional tubular structure. Recent studies have revealed that this process involves a specialized cell type of mesodermal origin, termed bridge-cell. Single bridge-cells are located between adjacent tracheal subunits and serve as guiding posts for the outgrowing dorsal trunk branches. We show that bridge-cell-approaching tracheal cells form filopodia-like cell extensions, which attach to the bridge-cell surface and are essential for the tracheal subunit interconnection. The results of both dominant-negative and gain-of-function experiments suggest that the formation of cell extensions require Cdc42-mediated Drosophila fibroblast growth factor activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Intercellular Junctions / physiology*
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein / physiology


  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein