Maria Grazia Giansanti

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We analyzed male meiosis in mutants of the chickadee (chic) locus, a Drosophila melanogaster gene that encodes profilin, a low molecular weight actin-binding protein that modulates F-actin polymerization. These mutants are severely defective in meiotic cytokinesis. During ana-telophase of both meiotic divisions, they exhibit a central spindle less dense(More)
Drosophila neuroblasts are stem cells that divide asymmetrically to produce another large neuroblast and a smaller ganglion mother cell (GMC). During neuroblast division, several cell fate determinants, such as Miranda, Prospero and Numb, are preferentially segregated into the GMC, ensuring its correct developmental fate. The accurate segregation of these(More)
SPD-2 is a C. elegans centriolar protein required for both centriole duplication and pericentriolar material (PCM) recruitment [1-4]. SPD-2 is conserved in Drosophila (DSpd-2) and is a component of the fly centriole [5-7]. The analysis of a P element-induced hypomorphic mutation has shown that DSpd-2 is primarily required for PCM recruitment at the sperm(More)
While Drosophila female meiosis is anastral, both meiotic divisions in Drosophila males exhibit prominent asters. We have identified a gene we call asterless (asl) that is required for aster formation during male meiosis. Ultrastructural analysis showed that asl mutants have morphologically normal centrioles. However, immunostaining with antibodies directed(More)
The multisubunit conserved oligomeric Golgi (COG) complex has been shown previously to be involved in Golgi function in yeast and mammalian tissue culture cells. Despite this broad conservation, several subunits, including Cog5, were not essential for growth and showed only mild effects on secretion when mutated in yeast, raising questions about what(More)
A large body of work indicates that chromosomes play a key role in the assembly of both a centrosomal and centrosome-containing spindles. In animal systems, the absence of chromosomes either prevents spindle formation or allows the assembly of a metaphase-like spindle that fails to evolve into an ana-telophase spindle. Here, we show that Drosophila(More)
Anillin is a 190 kDa actin-binding protein that concentrates in the leading edges of furrow canals during Drosophila cellularization and in the cleavage furrow of both somatic and meiotic cells. We analyzed anillin behavior during D. melanogaster spermatogenesis, and focused on the relationships between this protein and the F-actin enriched structures. In(More)
Phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins (PITPs) are highly conserved polypeptides that bind phosphatidylinositol or phosphatidylcholine monomers, facilitating their transfer from one membrane compartment to another . Although PITPs have been implicated in a variety of cellular functions, including lipid-mediated signaling and membrane trafficking, the(More)
Rab11 is a small GTPase that regulates several aspects of vesicular trafficking. Here, we show that Rab11 accumulates at the cleavage furrow of Drosophila spermatocytes and that it is essential for cytokinesis. Mutant spermatocytes form regular actomyosin rings, but these rings fail to constrict to completion, leading to cytokinesis failures. rab11(More)