Basolateral junctions are sufficient to suppress epithelial invasion during Drosophila oogenesis

Dev Dyn. 2007 Feb;236(2):364-73. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21020.


Epithelial junctions play crucial roles during metazoan evolution and development by facilitating tissue formation, maintenance, and function. Little is known about the role of distinct types of junctions in controlling epithelial transformations leading to invasion of neighboring tissues. Discovering the key junction complexes that control these processes and how they function may also provide mechanistic insight into carcinoma cell invasion. Here, using the Drosophila ovary as a model, we show that four proteins of the basolateral junction (BLJ), Fasciclin-2, Neuroglian, Discs-large, and Lethal-giant-larvae, but not proteins of other epithelial junctions, directly suppress epithelial tumorigenesis and invasion. Remarkably, the expression pattern of Fasciclin-2 predicts which cells will invade. We compared the apicobasal polarity of BLJ tumor cells to border cells (BCs), an epithelium-derived cluster that normally migrates during mid-oogenesis. Both tumor cells and BCs differentiate a lateralized membrane pattern that is necessary but not sufficient for invasion. Independent of lateralization, derepression of motility pathways is also necessary, as indicated by a strong linear correlation between faster BC migration and an increased incidence of tumor invasion. However, without membrane lateralization, derepression of motility pathways is also not sufficient for invasion. Our results demonstrate that spatiotemporal patterns of basolateral junction activity directly suppress epithelial invasion by organizing the cooperative activity of distinct polarity and motility pathways.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Intercellular Junctions / physiology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / physiopathology*
  • Oogenesis / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • fasciclin II
  • l(2)gl protein, Drosophila
  • Nrg protein, Drosophila
  • dlg1 protein, Drosophila