Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29101098
Biol Open 2017 Nov;
In epithelia, mitotic cells round up and push against their neighbors to divide. Mitotic rounding results from increased assembly of F-actin and cortical recruitment of Myosin II, leading to increased cortical stability. Whether this process is developmentally regulated is not well known. Here, we examined the regulation of cortical stability in Sensory Organ precursor cells (SOPs) in the Drosophila pupal notum. SOPs differed in apical shape and actomyosin dynamics from their epidermal neighbors prior to division and appeared to have a more rigid cortex at mitosis. We identified RhoGEF3 as an actin regulator expressed at higher levels in SOPs and showed that RhoGEF3 had in vitro GTPase Exchange Factor (GEF) activity for Cdc42. Additionally, RhoGEF3 genetically interacted with both Cdc42 and Rac1 when over-expressed in the fly eye. Using a null RhoGEF3 mutation generated by CRISPR-mediated homologous recombination, we showed using live imaging that the RhoGEF3 gene, despite being dispensable for normal development, contributed to cortical stability in dividing SOPs. We therefore suggest that cortical stability is developmentally regulated in dividing SOPs of the fly notum.