Drosophila dorsal closure is a morphogenetic movement that involves flanking epidermal cells, assembling actomyosin cables and migrating dorsally over the underlying amnioserosa to seal at the dorsal midline. Echinoid (Ed), a cell adhesion molecule of adherens junctions (AJs), participates in several developmental processes. The disappearance of Ed from the amnioserosa is required to define the epidermal leading edge for actomyosin cable assembly and coordinated cell migration. However, the mechanism by which Ed is cleared from amnioserosa is unknown. Here, we show that Ed is cleared in amnioserosa by both transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms. First, Ed mRNA transcription was repressed in amnioserosa prior to the onset of dorsal closure. Second, the ubiquitin ligase Smurf downregulated pre-translated Ed by binding to the PPXY motif of Ed. During dorsal closure, Smurf colocalized with Ed at AJs, and Smurf overexpression prematurely degraded Ed in the amnioserosa. Conversely, Ed persisted in the amnioserosa of Smurf mutant embryos which in turn affected actomyosin cable formation. Together, our results demonstrate that transcriptional repression of Ed followed by Smurf-mediated downregulation of pre-translated Ed in amnioserosa regulates the establishment of a taut leading edge during dorsal closure.
- Received October 4, 2016.
- Accepted April 11, 2017.
- Copyright © 2017, The Genetics Society of America