Rho1 activation recapitulates early gastrulation events in the ventral, but not dorsal, epithelium of Drosophila embryos

Elife. 2020 Nov 17:9:e56893. doi: 10.7554/eLife.56893.

Abstract

Ventral furrow formation, the first step in Drosophila gastrulation, is a well-studied example of tissue morphogenesis. Rho1 is highly active in a subset of ventral cells and is required for this morphogenetic event. However, it is unclear whether spatially patterned Rho1 activity alone is sufficient to recapitulate all aspects of this morphogenetic event, including anisotropic apical constriction and coordinated cell movements. Here, using an optogenetic probe that rapidly and robustly activates Rho1 in Drosophila tissues, we show that Rho1 activity induces ectopic deformations in the dorsal and ventral epithelia of Drosophila embryos. These perturbations reveal substantial differences in how ventral and dorsal cells, both within and outside the zone of Rho1 activation, respond to spatially and temporally identical patterns of Rho1 activation. Our results demonstrate that an asymmetric zone of Rho1 activity is not sufficient to recapitulate ventral furrow formation and reveal that additional, ventral-specific factors contribute to the cell- and tissue-level behaviors that emerge during ventral furrow formation.

Keywords: D. melanogaster; Rho1; RhoA; cell biology; developmental biology; gastrulation; gtpase; morphogenesis; optogenetics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Epithelium
  • Gastrulation / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Larva
  • Organisms, Genetically Modified
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*

Substances

  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Rho1 protein, Drosophila
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins