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Adherens junctions and cadherins in Drosophila development

AuthorsLetizia, Annalisa ; Llimargas, Marta
Issue Date2012
CitationAdherens Junctions: from Molecular Mechanisms to Tissue Development and Disease: 251-277 (2012)
SeriesSubcellular Biochemistry 60
AbstractDrosophila represents a paradigm for the analysis of the cellular, molecular and genetic mechanisms of development and is an ideal model system to study the contribution of Adherens Junctions (AJs) and their major components, cadherins, to morphogenesis. The combination of different techniques and approaches has allowed researchers to identify the requirements of these epithelial junctions in vivo in the context of a whole organism. The functional analysis of mutants for AJ core components, particularly for Drosophila DE-cadherin, has shown that AJs play critical roles in virtually all stages of development. For instance, AJs maintain tissue integrity while allowing the remodelling and homeostasis of many tissues. They control cell shape, contribute to cell polarity, facilitate cell-cell recognition during cell sorting, orient cell divisions, or regulate cell rearrangements, among other activities. Remarkably, these activities require a very fine control of the organisation and turnover of AJs during development. In addition, AJs engage in diverse and complex interactions with the cytoskeleton, signalling networks, intracellular trafficking machinery or polarity cues to perform these functions. Here, by summarising the requirements of AJs and cadherins during Drosophila morphogenesis, we illustrate the capital contribution of this model system to our knowledge of the mechanisms and biology of AJs.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4186-7_11
isbn: 978-94-007-4185-0
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