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Abi activates WASP to promote sensory organ development

Nature Cell Biology volume 7, pages 977984 (2005) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Actin polymerization is a key process for many cellular events during development. To a large extent, the formation of filamentous actin is controlled by the WASP and WAVE proteins that activate the Arp2/3 complex in different developmental processes1,2,3. WAVE function is regulated through a protein complex containing Sra1, Kette and Abi. Using biochemical, cell biological and genetic tools, we show here that the Abi protein also has a central role in activating WASP-mediated processes. Abi binds WASP through its carboxy-terminal domain and acts as a potent stimulator of WASP-dependent F-actin formation. To elucidate the biological function of abi in Drosophila melanogaster, we studied bristle development, a process known to require wasp function4. Reduction of abi function leads to a loss of bristles similar to that observed in wasp mutants. Activation of Abi results in the formation of ectopic bristles, a phenotype that is suppressed by a reduction of wasp activity but is not affected by the reduction of wave function. Thus, in vivo Abi may set the balance between WASP and WAVE in different actin-based developmental processes.

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Acknowledgements

We thank E. Schejter for generously sending materials (scark13811, scarΔ37, wasp3, wasp1 mutants and UAS-waspΔCA flies), J. Zallen and G. Borisy for sending anti-WAVE and anti-WASP antibodies, G. Scita for sharing and discussing results prior to publication, S. Wenderdel for excellent technical assistance, S. Call for purified His-tagged WAVE protein, A. Püschel, V. Gerke and T. Hummel for helpful discussions and comments on the manuscript, and members of the Klämbt laboratory for help throughout the project. This work was funded through a grant of the DFG and the EC (MAIN initiative).

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  1. Institut für Neurobiologie, Universität Münster, Badestr. 9, D-48149 Münster, Germany.

    • Sven Bogdan
    • , Raiko Stephan
    • , Christian Löbke
    • , Alexandra Mertens
    •  & Christian Klämbt

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Christian Klämbt.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/ncb1305

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