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BACKGROUND In animal cells, GTPase signaling pathways are thought to generate cellular protrusions by modulating the activity of downstream actin-regulatory proteins. Although the molecular events linking activation of a GTPase to the formation of an actin-based process with a characteristic morphology are incompletely understood, Rac-GTP is thought to(More)
BACKGROUND During mitosis, animal cells undergo a complex sequence of morphological changes, from retraction of the cell margin and cell rounding at the onset of mitosis to axial elongation and cytokinesis at mitotic exit. The molecular mechanisms driving the early changes in mitotic cell form and their functional significance, however, remain unknown. Here(More)
The role of myosin II in mitosis is generally thought to be restricted to cytokinesis. We present surprising new evidence that cortical myosin II is also required for spindle assembly in cells. Drug- or RNAi-mediated disruption of myosin II in cells interferes with normal spindle assembly and positioning. Time-lapse movies reveal that these treatments block(More)
BACKGROUND By acting as a dynamic link between adjacent cells in a monolayer, adherens junctions (AJs) maintain the integrity of epithelial tissues while allowing for neighbor exchange. Although it is not currently understood how this combination of AJ stability and plasticity is achieved, junctionally associated actin filaments are likely to play a role,(More)
The actin cytoskeleton orders cellular space and transduces many of the forces required for morphogenesis. Here we combine genetics and cell biology to identify genes that control the polarized distribution of actin filaments within the Drosophila follicular epithelium. We find that profilin and cofilin regulate actin-filament formation throughout the cell(More)
The organization of bristles on the Drosophila notum has long served as a popular model of robust tissue patterning. During this process, membrane-tethered Delta activates intracellular Notch signaling in neighboring epithelial cells, which inhibits Delta expression. This induces lateral inhibition, yielding a pattern in which each Delta-expressing(More)
We demonstrate that Drosophila capulet (capt), a homolog of the adenylyl cyclase-associated protein that binds and regulates actin in yeast, associates with Abl in Drosophila cells, suggesting a functional relationship in vivo. We find a robust and specific genetic interaction between capt and Abl at the midline choice point where the growth cone repellent(More)
The ancestors of modern Metazoa were constructed in large part by the foldings and distortions of two-dimensional sheets of epithelial cells. This changed approximately 600 million years ago with the evolution of mesenchymal cells. These cells arise as the result of epithelial cell delamination through a reprogramming process called an epithelial to(More)
The epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin)-catenin complex binds to cytoskeletal components and regulatory and signaling molecules to form a mature adherens junction (AJ). This dynamic structure physically connects neighboring epithelial cells, couples intercellular adhesive contacts to the cytoskeleton, and helps define each cell's apical-basal axis. Together(More)
Accurate animal cell division requires precise coordination of changes in the structure of the microtubule-based spindle and the actin-based cell cortex. Here, we use a series of perturbation experiments to dissect the relative roles of actin, cortical mechanics, and cell shape in spindle formation. We find that, whereas the actin cortex is largely(More)