New roles for apical secretion and extracellular matrix assembly in Drosophila epithelial morphogenesis
Sammanfattning: Branched tubular organs, such as the lung and vascular system fulfill the respiratory needs of most animals. Optimal tissue function relies on the uniform sizes and shapes of the constituting branches in each organ. The Drosophila tracheal airways provide a recognized genetic model system for identification and characterization of tube size regulators. We found that the programmed secretion and assembly of the apical extracellular matrix (ECM) is required for the expansion of the trachea and salivary glands (SG) tubes. We have characterized Vermiform (Verm) and Serpentine (Serp), two chitin-binding proteins with predicted polysaccharide deacetylase domains (ChLDs). Verm and Serp mutants show overelongated tubes, suggesting that luminal ECM modification restricts tracheal tube elongation. The luminal deposition of ChLDs, but not other secreted components, depends on paracellular septate junction integrity (SJs) in the tracheal epithelium. Deletion of the deacetylase domain renders Serp-GFP intracellular, arguing that the deacetylase domain harbors uncharacterized secretion signals. To explore this possibility we transferred the deacetylase domain from Serp to Gasp, another tracheal luminal protein, which requires the Emp24 adaptor for ER exit. The Gasp-Deac-GFP chimera was normally secreted in emp24 mutants indicating that the deacetylase domain contains potential ER-exit signals. To identify such signals we characterized conserved sequence motifs in the Serp deacetylase domain. Mutations of the N-glycosylation sites gradually reduced Serp-GFP luminal deposition suggesting that increased glycosylation enhances apical Serp secretion. By contrast, substitutions in three conserved amino acid stretches completely blocked the ER-exit of Serp-GFP. The mutated proteins were N-glycosylated suggesting that the motifs may be involved in a subsequent protein-folding step or facilitate ER exit through interactions with unidentified specific adaptors.
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