The Drosophila BMPRII, Wishful thinking, Is required for eggshell patterning

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The Drosophila eggshell is an elaborate structure that is derived from a monolayer of follicular epithelium surrounding the developing oocyte within the female ovary. The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway is essential for controlling the patterning and morphogenesis of the eggshell. During oogenesis, the roles of patterning and morphogenesis by the BMP type I receptor thickveins (tkv) have been studied extensively. However, signaling through this pathway requires both type I and II receptors, and the latter has yet to be established in oogenesis. We focus on wishful thinking (wit), the Drosophila homolog to the mammalian BMP type II receptor, BMPRII. We found that wit is expressed dynamically in the FCs of D. melanogaster in an evolutionary conserved pattern. The expression patterns are highly correlated with the dynamics of the BMP signaling, which is consistent with our finding that wit is a target of BMP signaling. Furthermore, we established that WIT is necessary for BMP signaling, and loss of WIT is associated with cell autonomous loss of BMP responses. Of importance, we demonstrated that perturbations in WIT led to changes in eggshell morphologies in domains that are patterned by BMP signaling. Previous studies have shown a role for WIT in BMP signaling during neurogenesis; however, our results reveal a role for WIT in epithelial cells' development. © 2012.




Marmion, R. A., Jevtic, M., Springhorn, A., Pyrowolakis, G., & Yakoby, N. (2013). The Drosophila BMPRII, Wishful thinking, Is required for eggshell patterning. Developmental Biology, 375(1), 45–53.

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