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, 129 (22), 5131-40

Organizer Activity of the Polar Cells During Drosophila Oogenesis

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  • PMID: 12399305

Organizer Activity of the Polar Cells During Drosophila Oogenesis

Muriel Grammont et al. Development.

Abstract

Patterning of the Drosophila egg requires the establishment of several distinct types of somatic follicle cells, as well as interactions between these follicle cells and the oocyte. The polar cells occupy the termini of the follicle and are specified by the activation of Notch. We have investigated their role in follicle patterning by creating clones of cells mutant for the Notch modulator fringe. This genetic ablation of polar cells results in cell fate defects within surrounding follicle cells. At the anterior, the border cells, the immediately adjacent follicle cell fate, are absent, as are the more distant stretched and centripetal follicle cells. Conversely, increasing the number of polar cells by expressing an activated form of the Notch receptor increases the number of border cells. At the posterior, elimination of polar cells results in abnormal oocyte localization. Moreover, when polar cells are mislocalized laterally, the surrounding follicle cells adopt a posterior fate, the oocyte is located adjacent to them, and the anteroposterior axis of the oocyte is re-oriented with respect to the ectopic polar cells. Our observations demonstrate that the polar cells act as an organizer that patterns surrounding follicle cells and establishes the anteroposterior axis of the oocyte. The origin of asymmetry during Drosophila development can thus be traced back to the specification of the polar cells during early oogenesis.

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