The Ovo/Shavenbaby transcription factor specifies actin remodelling during epidermal differentiation in Drosophila

Mech Dev. 2003 Jul;120(7):747-58. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(03)00081-9.


In Drosophila, differentiation of the epidermis results in a stereotyped array of cells with F-actin-based extensions at their apical face. We identified Ovo/Shavenbaby (Svb) as a transcription factor that governs changes in epidermal cell shape. Svb is required for the formation of apical extensions and cells deficient in svb differentiate a smooth surface. In both the embryo and the adult, we show that Svb is necessary and sufficient for the cells to grow extensions and that the tight regulation of ovo/svb activity is critical for morphogenesis to occur correctly. We establish that Svb triggers early F-actin redistribution and is able to initiate the entire process of cytoskeletal remodelling, thereby defining it as a major regulator of epidermal differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Epidermis / embryology
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Eye / embryology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Wings, Animal / embryology


  • Actins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • ovo protein, Drosophila

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AJ430588