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Chandran, R.R., Iordanou, E., Ajja, C., Wille, M., Jiang, L. (2014). Gene expression profiling of Drosophila tracheal fusion cells.  Gene Expr. Patterns 15(2): 112--123.
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The Drosophila trachea is a premier genetic system to investigate the fundamental mechanisms of tubular organ formation. Tracheal fusion cells lead the branch fusion process to form an interconnected tubular network. Therefore, fusion cells in the Drosophila trachea will be an excellent model to study branch fusion in mammalian tubular organs, such as kidneys and blood vessels. The fusion process is a dynamic cellular process involving cell migration, adhesion, vesicle trafficking, cytoskeleton rearrangement, and membrane fusion. To understand how these cellular events are coordinated, we initiated the critical step to assemble a gene expression profile of fusion cells. For this study, we analyzed the expression of 234 potential tracheal-expressed genes in fusion cells during fusion cell development. 143 Tracheal genes were found to encode transcription factors, signal proteins, cytoskeleton and matrix proteins, transporters, and proteins with unknown function. These genes were divided into four subgroups based on their levels of expression in fusion cells compared to neighboring non-fusion cells revealed by in situ hybridization: (1) genes that have relative high abundance in fusion cells, (2) genes that are dynamically expressed in fusion cells, (3) genes that have relative low abundance in fusion cells, and (4) genes that are expressed at similar levels in fusion cells and non-fusion tracheal cells. This study identifies the expression profile of fusion cells and hypothetically suggests genes which are necessary for the fusion process and which play roles in distinct stages of fusion, as indicated by the location and timing of expression. These data will provide the basis for a comprehensive understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of branch fusion.

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    Publication Type
    Gene Expr. Patterns
    Gene expression patterns : GEP
    Publication Year
    1567-133X 1872-7298
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