Regulated Crb accumulation controls apical constriction and invagination in Drosophila tracheal cells.
A major issue in morphogenesis is to understand how the activity of genes specifying cell fate affects cytoskeletal components that modify cell shape and induce cell movements. Here, we approach this question by investigating how a group of cells from an epithelial sheet initiate invagination to ultimately form the Drosophila tracheal tubes. We describe tracheal cell behavior at invagination and show that it is associated with, and requires, a distinct recruitment of Myosin II to the apical surface of cells at the invaginating edge. We show that this process is achieved by the activity of crossveinless-c, a gene coding for a RhoGAP and whose specific transcriptional activation in the tracheal cells is triggered by both the trachealess patterning gene and the EGF Receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway. Our results identify a developmental pathway linking cell fate genes and cell signaling pathways to intracellular modifications during tracheal cell invagination.