Patterning of the Drosophila egg requires cooperation between the germline cells and surrounding somatic follicle cells. In order to identify genes involved in follicle cell patterning, we analyzed enhancer trap lines expressed in specific subsets of follicle cells. Through this analysis, we have identified tandem Drosophild genes homologous to CTP: phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase (CCT), the second of three enzymes in the CDP-choline pathway, which is used to synthesize phosphatidylcholine. Drosophila Cct1 is expressed at high levels in three specific subsets of follicle cells, and this expression is regulated, at least in part, by the TGF-β and Egfr signaling pathways. Mutations in Cct1 result in a number of defects, including a loss of germline stem cell maintenance, mispositioning of the oocyte, and a shortened operculum, suggesting that Cct1 plays multiple roles during oogenesis. In addition, Cct1 mutants display a novel branched ovariole phenotype, demonstrating a requirement for this gene during ovarian morphogenesis. These data provide the first evidence for a specific role for CCT, and thus for phosphatidylcholine, in patterning during development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology
- CTP: Phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase
- Follicle cells