Stimulation of Endocytosis and Actin Dynamics by Oskar Polarizes the Drosophila Oocyte

Dev Cell. 2007 Apr;12(4):543-55. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2007.03.002.


In Drosophila, localized activity of oskar at the posterior pole of the oocyte induces germline and abdomen formation in the embryo. Oskar has two isoforms, a short isoform encoding the patterning determinant and a long isoform of unknown function. Here, we show by immuno-electron microscopy that the two Oskar isoforms have different subcellular localizations in the oocyte: Short Oskar mainly localizes to polar granules, and Long Oskar is specifically associated with endocytic membranes along the posterior cortex. Our cell biological and genetic analyses reveal that Oskar stimulates endocytosis, and that its two isoforms are required to regulate this process. Furthermore, we describe long F-actin projections at the oocyte posterior pole that are induced by and intermingled with Oskar protein. We propose that Oskar maintains its localization at the posterior pole through dual functions in regulating endocytosis and F-actin dynamics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Polarity*
  • Clathrin / metabolism
  • Clathrin / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Endocytosis*
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Models, Biological
  • Oocytes / metabolism*
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Oocytes / ultrastructure
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Up-Regulation


  • Actins
  • Clathrin
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • osk protein, Drosophila