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Scientific article
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English

The Crumbs_C isoform of Drosophila shows tissue- and stage-specific expression and prevents light-dependent retinal degeneration

Published inBiology Open, vol. 6, no. 2, p. 165-175
Publication date2017
Abstract

Drosophila Crumbs (Crb) is a key regulator of epithelial polarity and fulfils a plethora of other functions, such as growth regulation, morphogenesis of photoreceptor cells and prevention of retinal degeneration. This raises the question how a single gene regulates such diverse functions, which in mammals are controlled by three different paralogs. Here, we show that in Drosophila different Crb protein isoforms are differentially expressed as a result of alternative splicing. All isoforms are transmembrane proteins that differ by just one EGF-like repeat in their extracellular portion. Unlike Crb_A, which is expressed in most embryonic epithelia from early stages onward, Crb_C is expressed later and only in a subset of embryonic epithelia. Flies specifically lacking Crb_C are homozygous viable and fertile. Strikingly, these flies undergo light-dependent photoreceptor degeneration despite the fact that the other isoforms are expressed and properly localised at the stalk membrane. This allele now provides an ideal possibility to further unravel the molecular mechanisms by which Drosophila crb protects photoreceptor cells from the detrimental consequences of light-induced cell stress.

Keywords
  • Epithelial polarity
  • EGF-like repeat
  • Alternative splicing
  • Mutually exclusive exon
Citation (ISO format)
SPANNL, Stephanie et al. The Crumbs_C isoform of Drosophila shows tissue- and stage-specific expression and prevents light-dependent retinal degeneration. In: Biology Open, 2017, vol. 6, n° 2, p. 165–175. doi: 10.1242/bio.020040
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