Integrins regulate apical constriction via microtubule stabilization in the Drosophila eye disc epithelium

Cell Rep. 2014 Dec 24;9(6):2043-55. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.11.041. Epub 2014 Dec 18.


During morphogenesis, extracellular signals trigger actomyosin contractility in subpopulations of cells to coordinate changes in cell shape. To illuminate the link between signaling-mediated tissue patterning and cytoskeletal remodeling, we study the progression of the morphogenetic furrow (MF), the wave of apical constriction that traverses the Drosophila eye imaginal disc preceding photoreceptor neurogenesis. Apical constriction depends on actomyosin contractility downstream of the Hedgehog (Hh) and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathways. We identify a role for integrin adhesion receptors in MF progression. We show that Hh and BMP regulate integrin expression, the loss of which disrupts apical constriction and slows furrow progression; conversely, elevated integrins accelerate furrow progression. We present evidence that integrins regulate MF progression by promoting microtubule stabilization, since reducing microtubule stability rescues integrin-mediated furrow acceleration. Thus, integrins act as a genetic link between tissue-level signaling events and morphological change at the cellular level, leading to morphogenesis and neurogenesis in the eye.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Compound Eye, Arthropod / embryology
  • Compound Eye, Arthropod / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Epithelium / embryology
  • Epithelium / metabolism*
  • Hedgehog Proteins / genetics
  • Hedgehog Proteins / metabolism
  • Integrin alpha Chains / genetics
  • Integrin alpha Chains / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Morphogenesis


  • Actins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Integrin alpha Chains
  • dpp protein, Drosophila
  • if protein, Drosophila
  • hh protein, Drosophila