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The ecdysone receptor signalling regulates microvilli formation in follicular epithelial cells

Romani, Patrizia, Gargiulo, Giuseppe, Cavaliere, Valeria
Cellular and molecular life sciences 2016 v.73 no.2 pp. 409-425
Drosophila, actin, cell growth, ecdysone, epithelial cells, epithelium, homeostasis, microfilaments, microvilli, morphogenesis, oocytes, protein kinase C, transcription factors
Epithelial morphogenesis contributes greatly to the development and homeostasis of the organs and body parts. Here, we analysed the consequences of impaired ecdysone receptor (EcR) signalling in the Drosophila follicular epithelium. Besides governing cell growth, the three EcR isoforms act redundantly in controlling follicle cell positioning. Flattening of the microvilli and an aberrant actin cytoskeleton arise from defective EcR signalling in follicle cells, and these defects impact on the organisation of the oocyte membrane. We found that this signalling governs a complex molecular network since its impairment affects key molecules as atypical protein kinase C and activated Moesin. Interestingly, the activity of the transcription factor Tramtrack69 isoform is required for microvilli and their actin core morphogenesis as well as for follicle cell positioning. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence of novel roles for EcR signalling and Tramtrack69 transcription factor in controlling stage-specific differentiation events that take place in the follicular epithelium.