[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Male killing, induced by different bacterial taxa of maternally inherited microorganisms, resulting in highly distorted female-biased sex-ratios, is a common phenomenon among arthropods. Some strains of the endosymbiont bacteria Wolbachia have been shown to induce this phenotype in particular insect hosts. High altitude populations of Drosophila bifasciata infected with Wolbachia show selective male killing during embryonic development. However, since this was first reported, circa 60 years ago, the interaction between Wolbachia and its host has remained unclear. Herein we show that D. bifasciata male embryos display defective chromatin remodeling, improper chromatid segregation and chromosome bridging, as well as abnormal mitotic spindles and gradual loss of their centrosomes. These defects occur at different times in the early development of male embryos leading to death during early nuclear division cycles or large defective areas of the cellular blastoderm, culminating in abnormal embryos that die before eclosion. We propose that Wolbachia affects the development of male embryos by specifically targeting male chromatin remodeling and thus disturbing mitotic spindle assembly and chromosome behavior. These are the first observations that demonstrate fundamental aspects of the cytological mechanism of male killing and represent a solid base for further molecular studies of this phenomenon.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e30045. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Walker-Warburg syndrome, a progressive muscular dystrophy, is a severe disease with various kinds of symptoms such as muscle weakness and occasional seizures. The genes of protein O-mannosyltransferases 1 and 2 (POMT1 and POMT2), fukutin, and fukutin-related protein are responsible for this syndrome. In our previous study, we cloned Drosophila orthologs of human POMT1 and POMT2 and identified their activity. However, the mechanism of onset of this syndrome is not well understood. Furthermore, little is known about the behavioral properties of the Drosophila POMT1 and POMT2 mutants, which are called rotated abdomen (rt) and twisted (tw), respectively. First, we performed various kinds of behavioral tests and described in detail the muscle structures by using these mutants. The mutant flies exhibited abnormalities in heavy exercises such as climbing or flight but not in light movements such as locomotion. Defective motor function in mutants appeared immediately after eclosion and was exaggerated with aging. Along with motor function, muscle ultrastructure in the tw mutant was altered, as seen in human patients. We demonstrated that expression of RNA interference (RNAi) for the rt gene and the tw mutant was almost completely lethal and semi-lethal, respectively. Flies expressing RNAi had reduced lifespans. These findings clearly demonstrate that Drosophila POMT mutants are models for human muscular dystrophy. We then observed a high density of myoblasts with an enhanced degree of apoptosis in the tw mutant, which completely lost enzymatic activity. In this paper, we propose a novel mechanism for the development of muscular dystrophy: POMT mutation causes high myoblast density and position derangement, which result in apoptosis, muscle disorganization, and muscle cell defects.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(7):e11557. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heparan sulfate proteoglycan plays an important role in developmental processes by modulating the distribution and stability of the morphogens Wingless, Hedgehog, and Decapentaplegic. Heparan and chondroitin sulfates share a common linkage tetrasaccharide structure, GlcAbeta1,3Galbeta1,3Galbeta1,4Xylbeta-O-Ser. In the present study, we identified Drosophila proteoglycan galactosyltransferase II (dbeta3GalTII), determined its substrate specificity, and performed its functional analysis by using RNA interference (RNAi) mutant flies. The enzyme transferred a galactose to Galbeta1,4Xyl-pMph, confirming that it is the Drosophila ortholog of human proteoglycan galactosyltransferase II. Real-time PCR analyses revealed that dbeta3GalTII is expressed in various tissues and throughout development. The dbeta3GalTII RNAi mutant flies showed decreased amounts of heparan sulfate proteoglycans. A genetic interaction of dbeta3GalTII with Drosophila beta1,4-galactoslyltransferase 7 (dbeta4GalT7) or with six genes that encode enzymes contributing to the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans indicated that dbeta3GalTII is involved in heparan sulfate synthesis for wing and eye development. Moreover, dbeta3GalTII knock-down caused a decrease in extracellular Wingless in the wing imaginal disc of the third instar larvae. These results demonstrated that dbeta3GalTII contributes to heparan sulfate proteoglycan synthesis in vitro and in vivo and also modulates Wingless distribution.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2008; 283(10):6076-84. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sulfation of macromolecules requires the translocation of a high energy form of nucleotide sulfate, i.e. 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS), from the cytosol into the Golgi apparatus. In this study, we identified a novel Drosophila PAPS transporter gene dPAPST2 by conducting data base searches and screening the PAPS transport activity among the putative nucleotide sugar transporter genes in Drosophila. The amino acid sequence of dPAPST2 showed 50.5 and 21.5% homology to the human PAPST2 and SLALOM, respectively. The heterologous expression of dPAPST2 in yeast revealed that the dPAPST2 protein is a PAPS transporter with an apparent K(m) value of 2.3 microm. The RNA interference of dPAPST2 in cell line and flies showed that the dPAPST2 gene is essential for the sulfation of cellular proteins and the viability of the fly. In RNA interference flies, an analysis of the genetic interaction between dPAPST2 and genes that contribute to glycosaminoglycan synthesis suggested that dPAPST2 is involved in the glycosaminoglycan synthesis and the subsequent signaling. The dPAPST2 and sll genes showed a similar ubiquitous distribution. These results indicate that dPAPST2 may be involved in Hedgehog and Decapentaplegic signaling by controlling the sulfation of heparan sulfate.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2006; 281(39):28508-17. · 4.65 Impact Factor