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Rogers, E.M., Hsiung, F., Rodrigues, A.B., Moses, K. (2005). Slingshot cofilin phosphatase localization is regulated by Receptor Tyrosine Kinases and regulates cytoskeletal structure in the developing Drosophila eye.  Mech. Dev. 122(11): 1194--1205.
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Animal development requires that positional information act on the genome to control cell fate and cell shape. The primary determinant of animal cell shape is the cytoskeleton and thus the mechanisms by which extracellular signals influence the cytoskeleton are crucial for morphogenesis. In the developing Drosophila compound eye, localized polymerization of actin functions to constrict the apical surface of epithelial cells, both at the morphogenetic furrow and later to maintain the coherence of the nascent ommatidia. As elsewhere, actin polymerization in the developing eye is regulated by ADF/cofilin ('Twinstar', or 'Tsr' in Drosophila), which is activated by Slingshot (Ssh), a cofilin phosphatase. Here we show that Ssh does act in the developing eye to limit actin polymerization in the assembling ommatidia, but not in the morphogenetic furrow. While Ssh does control cell shape, surprisingly there are no direct or immediate consequences for cell type. Ssh protein becomes apically concentrated in cells that express elevated levels of the Sevenless (Sev) receptor-tyrosine kinase (RTK), even those which receive no ligand. We interpret this as a non-signal driven, RTK-dependent localization of Ssh to allow for locally increased actin filament turnover. We suggest that there are two modes of actin remodeling in the developing eye: a non-RTK, non-Ssh mediated mechanism in the morphogenetic furrow, and an RTK and Ssh-dependent mode during ommatidial assembly.

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