Synchronized endocytosis studied in the oocyte of a temperature-sensitive mutant of Drosophila melanogaster

Cell Tissue Res. 1990 Feb;259(2):199-207. doi: 10.1007/BF00318441.


This study demonstrates that endocytosis in the oocyte of Drosophila melanogaster is reversibly blocked at the stage of pit formation by the temperature-sensitive, single-gene mutant, shibirts1. Uptake of horeradish peroxidase conjugated with wheat-germ agglutinin was observed to be normal in mutant oocytes at 19 degrees C, but was blocked at 29 degrees C. After 10 min at 29 degrees C, there was a build-up of coated pits along invaginations of the plasma membrane. Also, the endosomal compartment consisting of tubules, bulbs, and small yolk spheres, disappeared. Lowering the temperature to 19 degrees C after 10 min at 29 degrees C released a synchronized wave of endocytosis into a cytoplasm cleared of uptake-related organelles. By observing this synchronized wave after exposure to 19 degrees C for varying durations, we determined that endocytosis proceeds as follows: coated pits/vesicles----tubules----small yolk spheres----mature yolk spheres. The observations suggest that these organelles transform one into another within this sequence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Endocytosis*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase / pharmacokinetics
  • Mutation*
  • Oocytes / physiology*
  • Oocytes / ultrastructure
  • Temperature
  • Vitellogenins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins / pharmacokinetics


  • Vitellogenins
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase