The dynamic duo of microtubule polymerase Mini spindles/ XMAP215 and cytoplasmic dynein is essential for maintaining Drosophila oocyte fate

Wen Lu, Margot Lakonishok, Vladimir I. Gelfand*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In many species, only one oocyte is specified among a group of interconnected germline sister cells. In Drosophila melanogaster, 16 interconnected cells form a germline cyst, where one cell differentiates into an oocyte, while the rest become nurse cells that supply the oocyte with mRNAs, proteins, and organelles through intercellular cytoplasmic bridges named ring canals via microtubule-based transport. In this study, we find that a microtubule polymerase Mini spindles (Msps), the Drosophila homolog of XMAP215, is essential for maintenance of the oocyte specification. mRNA encoding Msps is transported and concentrated in the oocyte by dynein-dependent transport along microtubules. Translated Msps stimulates microtubule polymerization in the oocyte, causing more microtubule plus ends to grow from the oocyte through the ring canals into nurse cells, further enhancing nurse cell-to-oocyte transport by dynein. Knockdown of msps blocks the oocyte growth and causes gradual loss of oocyte determinants. Thus, the Msps-dynein duo creates a positive feedback loop, ensuring oocyte fate maintenance by promoting high microtubule polymerization activity in the oocyte, and enhancing dynein-dependent nurse cell-to-oocyte transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2303376120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume120
Issue number39
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • cell fate
  • Drosophila
  • dynein
  • microtubule
  • oocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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