The Drosophila Malpighian tubules (MpTs) serve as a functional equivalent of the mammalian renal tubules. The MpTs are composed of two pairs of epithelial tubes that bud from the midgut-hindgut boundary during embryogenesis. The MpT primordia grow, elongate and migrate through the body cavity to assume their final position and shape. The stereotypic pattern of MpT migration is regulated by multiple intrinsic and extrinsic signals, many of which are still obscure. In this work, we implicate the TALE-class homeoprotein Homothorax (Hth) in MpT patterning. We show that in the absence of Hth the tubules fail to rearrange and migrate. Hth plays both autonomous and nonautonomous roles in this developmental process. Within the tubules Hth is required for convergent extension and for defining distal versus proximal cell identities. The difference between distal and proximal cell identities seems to be required for proper formation of the leading loop. Outside the tubules, wide-range mesodermal expression of Hth is required for directing anterior migration. The nonautonomous effects of Hth on MpT migration can be partially attributed to its effects on homeotic determination along the anterior posterior axis of the embryo and to its effects on stellate cell (SC) incorporation into the MpT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- !!Developmental Biology