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The Hormonal Coordination Of Cuticulin Deposition And Morphogenesis In Drosophila Imaginal Discs In Vivo And In Vitro.

D. Fristrom, W. Liebrich
Published 1986 · Biology, Medicine

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Cuticulin is the first layer of the insect cuticle to be deposited and is laid down as a continuous inelastic sheet over the apical surface of cuticle-secreting cells. During metamorphosis in Drosophila melanogaster, imaginal discs deposit the cuticulin layer of the pupal cuticle between 3 and 7 hr after puparium formation. This is a period of rapid morphogenesis involving cell shape changes and cell rearrangements. We have examined cuticulin deposition in vivo and in vitro with a view to understanding the coordination of cuticulin deposition with morphogenesis. We find that the optimum hormonal regimen (of the steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone) for the completion of both morphogenesis and cuticulin deposition in vitro parallels the changes in hormone titer observed in vivo. We also find that cuticulin is deposited last over cell boundaries, thereby allowing cell rearrangements to occur as cuticulin is laid down. We have identified in vitro conditions under which cuticulin deposition is completed precociously, inhibiting further morphogenesis. Cytochalasin B and colchicine do not inhibit cuticulin deposition and we therefore conclude that an intact cytoskeleton is not necessary for secretion of this extracellular structure. Finally, we present a preliminary protocol for the partial purification of cuticulin synthesized in vitro by mass isolated discs.
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