The transmembrane region of Gurken is not required for biological activity, but is necessary for transport to the oocyte membrane in Drosophila

Anne Marie Queenan, Gail Barcelo, Cheryl Van Buskirk, Trudi Schüpbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

During Drosophila oogenesis, localization of the transforming growth factor α (TGFα)-like signaling molecule Gurken to the oocyte membrane is required for polarity establishment of the egg and embryo. To test Gurken domain functions, full-length and truncated forms of Gurken were expressed ectopically using the UAS/Gal4 expression system, or in the germline using the endogenous promoter. GrkΔC, a deletion of the cytoplasmic domain, localizes to the oocyte membrane and can signal. GrkΔTC, which lacks the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains, retains signaling ability when ectopically expressed in somatic cells. However, in the germline, the GrkΔTC protein accumulates throughout the oocyte cytoplasm and cannot signal. In addition, we found that several strong gurken alleles contain point mutations in the transmembrane region. We conclude that secretion of Gurken requires its transmembrane region, and propose a model in which the gene cornichon mediates this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalMechanisms of Development
Volume89
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology

Keywords

  • Cornichon
  • Drosophila
  • Gurken
  • Oogenesis
  • Secretory pathway
  • Signal transduction
  • Transforming growth factor α

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