PVF1/PVR signaling and apoptosis promotes the rotation and dorsal closure of the Drosophila male terminalia

Int J Dev Biol. 2004 Dec;48(10):1087-94. doi: 10.1387/ijdb.041859am.


The Drosophila adult male terminalia originate from the genital disc. During the pupal stages, the external parts of terminalia evert from two ventral stalks; the everted left and right dorsal halves fuse at the dorsal midline. At the same time the male terminalia perform a 360 clockwise rotation. Several mutations are known to affect the rotation of the male terminalia, while none is known to affect dorsal closure. We show here that the Pvf1 gene, encoding one of the three Drosophila homologues of the mammalian VEGF/PDGF growth factors, is required for both processes. Males either mutant for Pvf1 or bearing a dominant negative form of Pvr or stasis (stai), the unique PVF receptor, do not complete either rotation or dorsal closure. Pvf1 expression in the genital disc is restricted to the A8 cells. However, PVF1/PVR signaling influences A8, A9 and A10 cells, suggesting that the PVF1 protein diffuses from its source. Flies hemizygous for the apoptotic genes hid, reaper and grim, or mutant for puckered which encodes a phosphatase that down-regulates the n-Jun-N terminal kinase pathway, lead to the same phenotypes as mutations in PVF1/PVR. Our results indicate that PVF1/PVR signaling functions not only in apoptotic phenomena but are also required during rotation and dorsal closure of the Drosophila male genital disc.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Lineage
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Egg Proteins / metabolism
  • Egg Proteins / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes, Dominant
  • Genitalia, Male / embryology*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 8 / metabolism
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Egg Proteins
  • Pvf1 protein, Drosophila
  • Pvr protein, Drosophila
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 8