Oriented basement membrane fibrils provide a memory for F-actin planar polarization via the Dystrophin-Dystroglycan complex during tissue elongation

Development. 2020 Apr 8;147(7):dev186957. doi: 10.1242/dev.186957.


How extracellular matrix contributes to tissue morphogenesis is still an open question. In the Drosophila ovarian follicle, it has been proposed that after Fat2-dependent planar polarization of the follicle cell basal domain, oriented basement membrane (BM) fibrils and F-actin stress fibers constrain follicle growth, promoting its axial elongation. However, the relationship between BM fibrils and stress fibers and their respective impact on elongation are unclear. We found that Dystroglycan (Dg) and Dystrophin (Dys) are involved in BM fibril deposition. Moreover, they also orient stress fibers, by acting locally and in parallel to Fat2. Importantly, Dg-Dys complex-mediated cell-autonomous control of F-actin fiber orientation relies on the preceding BM fibril deposition, indicating two distinct but interdependent functions. Thus, the Dg-Dys complex works as a crucial organizer of the epithelial basal domain, regulating both F-actin and BM. Furthermore, BM fibrils act as a persistent cue for the orientation of stress fibers that are the main effector of elongation.

Keywords: Basement membrane; Drosophila; Dystroglycan; Dystrophin; Extracellular matrix; Morphogenesis; Planar cell polarity; Tissue elongation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Basement Membrane / cytology
  • Basement Membrane / physiology*
  • Basement Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Cell Polarity / genetics
  • Cell Polarity / physiology*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Dystroglycans / genetics
  • Dystroglycans / metabolism*
  • Dystrophin / genetics
  • Dystrophin / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Morphogenesis / genetics
  • Morphogenesis / physiology*
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Protein Binding


  • Actins
  • Dystrophin
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Dystroglycans