Systematic analysis of the transcriptional switch inducing migration of border cells

Dev Cell. 2006 Apr;10(4):497-508. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2006.02.004.


Cell migration within a natural context is tightly controlled, often by specific transcription factors. However, the switch from stationary to migratory behavior is poorly understood. Border cells perform a spatially and temporally controlled invasive migration during Drosophila oogenesis. Slbo, a C/EBP family transcriptional activator, is required for them to become migratory. We purified wild-type and slbo mutant border cells as well as nonmigratory follicle cells and performed comparative whole-genome expression profiling, followed by functional tests of the contributions of identified targets to migration. About 300 genes were significantly upregulated in border cells, many dependent on Slbo. Among these, the microtubule regulator Stathmin was strongly upregulated and was required for normal migration. Actin cytoskeleton regulators were also induced, including, surprisingly, a large cluster of "muscle-specific" genes. We conclude that Slbo induces multiple cytoskeletal effectors, and that each contributes to the behavioral changes in border cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Oogenesis / genetics
  • Oogenesis / physiology*
  • Ovary / cytology
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Ovary / physiology*
  • Stathmin / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Up-Regulation


  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Stathmin
  • Transcription Factors
  • actin-modulating proteins
  • slbo protein, Drosophila