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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-28846

Förster, D; Armbruster, K; Luschnig, S (2010). Sec24-Dependent Secretion Drives Cell-Autonomous Expansion of Tracheal Tubes in Drosophila. Current Biology, 20(1):62-68.

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Epithelial tubes in developing organs, such as mammalian lungs and insect tracheae, need to expand their initially narrow lumina to attain their final, functional dimensions [1]. Despite its critical role for organ function, the cellular mechanism of tube expansion remains unclear. Tracheal tube expansion in Drosophila involves apical secretion and deposition of a luminal matrix [2,3,4,5], but the mechanistic role of secretion and the nature of forces involved in the process were not previously clear. Here we address the roles of cell-intrinsic and extrinsic processes in tracheal tube expansion. We identify mutations in the sec24 gene stenosis, encoding a cargo-binding subunit of the COPII complex [6,7,8]. Via genetic-mosaic analyses, we show that stenosis-dependent secretion drives tube expansion in a cell-autonomous fashion. Strikingly, single cells autonomously adjust both tube diameter and length by implementing a sequence of events including apical membrane growth, cell flattening, and taenidial cuticle formation. Known luminal components are not required for this process. Thus, a cell-intrinsic program, rather than nonautonomous extrinsic cues, controls the dimensions of tracheal tubes. These results indicate a critical role of membrane-associated proteins in the process and imply a mechanism that coordinates autonomous behaviors of individual cells within epithelial structures.


42 citations in Web of Science®
46 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Date:12 January 2010
Deposited On:26 Mar 2010 10:04
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:50
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2009.11.062

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