Dynamic analysis of dorsal closure in Drosophila: from genetics to cell biology

Dev Cell. 2002 Jul;3(1):9-19. doi: 10.1016/s1534-5807(02)00208-3.


Throughout development a series of epithelial bendings, sweepings, and fusions occur that collectively give shape to the embryo. These morphogenetic movements are driven by coordinated assembly and contraction of the actomyosin cytoskeleton in restricted populations of epithelial cells. One well-studied example of such a morphogenetic episode is dorsal closure in Drosophila embryogenesis. This process is tractable at a genetic level and has recently become the focus of live cell biology analysis because of the availability of flies expressing GFP-fusion proteins. This marriage of genetics and cell biology is very powerful and is allowing the dissection of fundamental signaling mechanisms that regulate the cytoskeletal reorganizations and contractions underlying coordinated tissue movements in the embryo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Actins / ultrastructure
  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / ultrastructure
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / embryology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / ultrastructure
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / ultrastructure
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • Actins
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins