Collective migration is a complex process that contributes to build precise tissue and organ architecture. Several molecules implicated in cell interactions also control collective migration, but their precise role and the finely tuned expression that orchestrates this complex developmental process are poorly understood. Here, we show that the timely and threshold expression of the Netrin receptor Frazzled triggers the initiation of glia migration in the developing Drosophila wing. Frazzled expression is induced by the transcription factor Glide/Gcm in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, the glial determinant also regulates the efficiency of collective migration. NetrinB but not NetrinA serves as a chemoattractant and Unc5 contributes as a repellant Netrin receptor for glia migration. Our model includes strict spatial localization of a ligand, a cell autonomously acting receptor and a fate determinant that act coordinately to direct glia toward their final destination.
Keywords: D. melanogaster; Drosophila; collective cell migration; developmental biology; frazzled; glial cell; glide/gcm; stem cells.