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Wahlstrom, G., Lahti, V.P., Pispa, J., Roos, C., Heino, T.I. (2004). Drosophila non-muscle alpha-actinin is localized in nurse cell actin bundles and ring canals, but is not required for fertility.  Mech. Dev. 121(11): 1377--1391.
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The single copy Drosophila alpha-actinin gene is alternatively spliced to generate three different isoforms that are expressed in larval muscle, adult muscle and non-muscle cells, respectively. We have generated novel alpha-actinin alleles, which specifically remove the non-muscle isoform. Homozygous mutant flies are viable and fertile with no obvious defects. Using a monoclonal antibody that recognizes all three splice variants, we compared alpha-actinin distribution in wild type and mutant embryos and ovaries. We found that non-muscle alpha-actinin was present in young embryos and in the embryonic central nervous system. In ovaries, non-muscle alpha-actinin was localized in the nurse cell subcortical cytoskeleton, cytoplasmic actin cables and ring canals. In the mutant, alpha-actinin expression remained in muscle tissues, but also in a subpopulation of epithelial cells in both embryos and ovaries. This suggests that various populations of non-muscle cells regulate alpha-actinin expression in different ways. We also show that ectopically expressed adult muscle-specific alpha-actinin localizes to all F-actin containing structures in the nurse cells in the absence of endogenous non-muscle alpha-actinin.

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    Mech. Dev.
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    Aberrations (2)
    Alleles (13)
    Genes (7)
    Insertions (1)
    Transgenic Constructs (1)