The zyxin family of proteins function as cytoskeletal regulators in adhesion, actin assembly, and cell motility. Though fibroblasts derived from zyxin-null mice show striking defects in motility and response to mechanical stimuli, the mice are viable and fertile. In Drosophila melanogaster, the family is represented by a single homologue, Zyx102. To study the role of zyxin during development, we generated a zyx102 RNA-interference transgenic line that allows for the conditional knockdown of Zyx102. When UAST-zyx102-dsRNAi expression is driven broadly by Actin5C-GAL4, loss of Zyx102 results in lethality during the pharate adult stage, a narrow developmental window during which the fly must molt, resorb molting fluid, fill adult trachea with air, and execute a behavioral program to eclose. Zyx102 knockdown animals attempt to emerge, but their adult trachea do not fill with air. If dissected from the pupal case, knockdown individuals appear morphologically normal, but remain inviable.
2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.