Cofilin/ADF is required for cell motility during Drosophila ovary development and oogenesis

Abstract

The driving force behind cell motility is the actin cytoskeleton. Filopodia and lamellipodia are formed by the polymerization and extension of actin filaments towards the cell membrane1,2. This polymerization at the barbed end of the filament is balanced by depolymerization at the pointed end, recycling the actin in a 'treadmilling' process2,3. One protein involved in this process is cofilin/actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF), which can depolymerize actin filaments, allowing treadmilling to occur at an accelerated rate3,4. Cofilin/ADF is an actin-binding protein that is required for actin-filament disassembly, cytokinesis and the organization of muscle actin filaments4,5,6,7. There is also evidence that cofilin/ADF enhances cell motility3,8,9, although a direct requirement in vivo has not yet been shown. Here we show that Drosophila cofilin/ADF6,10, which is encoded by the twinstar (tsr) gene, promotes cell movements during ovary development and oogenesis. During larval development, cofilin/ADF is required for the cell rearrangement needed for formation of terminal filaments, stacks of somatic cells that are important for the initiation of ovarioles. It is also required for the migration of border cells during oogenesis. These results show that cofilin/ADF is an important regulator of actin-based cell motility during Drosophila development.

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Figure 1: Diagram of terminal-filament formation and structure of the twinstar gene.
Figure 2: Formation of terminal filaments is disrupted in tsrntf mutant ovaries.
Figure 3: High levels of filamentous actin in a tsrntf mutant ovary.
Figure 4: Migration of border cells in wild-type and tsr-mutant egg chambers.

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Acknowledgements

We thank H. D. Pham for excellent technical assistance, J. Pendelton, J. Peredo and T. Tran for their assistance in screening the 1,800 P-element lethal lines, and M. Bejar, J. Monroy and L. Ng for help with mapping tsrntf. We also thank T. Orr-Weaver, P. Morcillo, the Bloomington Stock Center and T. Laverty (Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project) for stocks, and U. Tepass for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by USPHS National Research Service Awards GM07185 and GM07617 (to J.C. and K.G., respectively). D.G. was supported by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. F.A.L. and M.G. were supported by NIH grants GM40451 and GM48430, respectively.

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Correspondence to Frank A. Laski.

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Chen, J., Godt, D., Gunsalus, K. et al. Cofilin/ADF is required for cell motility during Drosophila ovary development and oogenesis. Nat Cell Biol 3, 204–209 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1038/35055120

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