Tanya Wolff

Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO, United States

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Publications (9)50.24 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Directed cellular movements are a universal feature of morphogenesis in multicellular organisms. Differential adhesion between the stationary and motile cells promotes these cellular movements to effect spatial patterning of cells. A prominent feature of Drosophila eye development is the 90 degrees rotational movement of the multicellular ommatidial precursors within a matrix of stationary cells. We demonstrate that the cell adhesion molecules Echinoid (Ed) and Friend of Echinoid (Fred) act throughout ommatidial rotation to modulate the degree of ommatidial precursor movement. We propose that differential levels of Ed and Fred between stationary and rotating cells at the initiation of rotation create a permissive environment for cell movement, and that uniform levels in these two populations later contribute to stopping the movement. Based on genetic data, we propose that ed and fred impart a second, independent, ;brake-like' contribution to this process via Egfr signaling. Ed and Fred are localized in largely distinct and dynamic patterns throughout rotation. However, ed and fred are required in only a subset of cells - photoreceptors R1, R7 and R6 - for normal rotation, cells that have only recently been linked to a role in planar cell polarity (PCP). This work also provides the first demonstration of a requirement for cone cells in the ommatidial rotation aspect of PCP. ed and fred also genetically interact with the PCP genes, but affect only the degree-of-rotation aspect of the PCP phenotype. Significantly, we demonstrate that at least one PCP protein, Stbm, is required in R7 to control the degree of ommatidial rotation.
    Development 11/2009; 136(19):3323-33. · 6.60 Impact Factor
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    Bree K Grillo-Hill, Tanya Wolff
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    ABSTRACT: Cell shapes and contacts are dynamically regulated during organogenesis to enable contacts with relevant neighboring cells at appropriate times. During Drosophila larval eye development, an apical contact is established between one pair of non-neuronal cones cells, precluding contact between the opposing pair. Concurrent with changes in cell shape, these contacts reverse in early pupal life. The reversal in cone cell contacts occurs in a posterior to anterior gradient across the eye, following the developmental gradient established in the larval eye imaginal disc. Hibris (Hbs), an Immunoglobulin cell adhesion molecule homologous to vertebrate Nephrin, is required for cone cell morphogenesis. In hbs null mutants, a majority of cone cells fail to both establish wild-type contacts and achieve mature cone cell shapes. hbs acts cell autonomously in the cone cells to drive these changes. The work presented here indicates hbs contributes to the remodeling of cell contacts and cell shapes throughout development.
    Developmental Dynamics 07/2009; 238(9):2223-34. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    Ryan W Fiehler, Tanya Wolff
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    ABSTRACT: Both dramatic and subtle morphogenetic movements are of paramount importance in molding cells and tissues into functional form. Cells move either independently or as populations and the distance traversed by cells varies greatly, but in all cases, the output is common: to organize cells into or within organs and epithelia. In the developing Drosophila eye, a highly specialized, 90 degrees rotational movement of subsets of cells imposes order by polarizing the retinal epithelium across its dorsoventral axis. This process was proposed to take place in two 45 degrees steps, with the second under control of the gene nemo (nmo), a serine/threonine kinase. While our analysis confirms that these subsets of cells, the ommatidial precursors, do stall at 45 degrees , we demonstrate that nmo is also required through most of the first 45 degrees of rotation to regulate the speed at which the ommatidial precursors move. In addition, although the precursors reach only the halfway point by the end of larval life, this work demonstrates that patterning events that occur during pupal life move the ommatidial units an additional 15 degrees . A re-analysis of nmo mosaic clones indicates that nmo is required in photoreceptors R1, R6 and R7 for normal orientation. This work also demonstrates that two major isoforms of nmo rescue the nmo(P1) phenotype. Finally, a dominant modifier screen of a nmo misexpression background identified genomic regions that potentially regulate rotation. The results presented here suggest a model in which a motor for rotation is established in a nemo-dependent fashion in a subset of cells.
    Developmental Biology 02/2008; 313(2):533-44. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    Ryan W Fiehler, Tanya Wolff
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    ABSTRACT: The adult Drosophila retina is a highly polarized epithelium derived from a precursor tissue that is initially symmetric across its dorsoventral axis. Specialized 90 degrees rotational movements of subsets of cells, the ommatidial precursors, establish mirror symmetry in the retinal epithelium. Myosin II, or Zipper (Zip), a motor protein, regulates the rate at which ommatidia rotate: in zip mutants, the rate of rotation is significantly slowed. Zip is concentrated in the cells that we show to be at the likely interface between rotating and non-rotating cells: the boundary between differentiated and undifferentiated cells. Zip is also robust in newly added ommatidial cells, consistent with our model that the machinery that drives rotation should shift to newly recruited cells as they are added to the growing ommatidium. Finally, cell death genes and canonical Wnt signaling pathway members genetically modify the zip phenotype.
    Developmental Biology 11/2007; 310(2):348-62. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The tissue polarity pathway is required for the establishment of epithelial polarity in a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate organs. Core tissue polarity proteins act in a dynamically regulated complex to direct the polarization of the Drosophila eye. We report the identification and characterization of bedraggled (bdg), a novel gene that regulates one output of the tissue polarity pathway--the establishment of the R3/R4 photoreceptor fates. bdg encodes a novel, putative transporter protein and interacts genetically with all of the core polarity genes to influence the specification of the R3 and R4 cell fates. Finally, bdg is required for both viability and the initial stages of imaginal disc development.
    Genetics 10/2007; 177(1):313-28. · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    Tanya Wolff, Jake B Guinto, Amy S Rawls
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    ABSTRACT: Polarity of the Drosophila compound eye arises primarily as a consequence of two events that are tightly linked in time and space: fate specification of two photoreceptor cells, R3 and R4, and the subsequent directional movement of the unit eyes of the compound eye, or ommatidia. While it is thought that these fates dictate the direction of ommatidial rotation, the phenotype of mutants in the genes that set up this polarity led to the hypothesis that these two events could be uncoupled. To definitively demonstrate these events are genetically separable, we conducted a dominant modifier screen to determine if genes, when misexpressed, could selectively enhance subclasses of mutant ommatidia in which the direction of rotation does not follow the R3/R4 cell fates, yet not affect the number of ommatidia in which rotation follows the R3/R4 cell fates. We identified a subset of P element lines that exhibit this selective enhancement. We also identified lines that behave in the opposite manner: They enhance the number of ommatidia that rotate in the right direction, but do not alter the number of ommatidia that rotate incorrectly with respect to the R3/R4 fates. These results indicate that fate and direction of rotation can be genetically separated, and that there are genes that act between R3/R4 fate specification and direction of ommatidial rotation. These data affirm what has been a long-standing assumption about the genetic control of ommatidial polarity.
    PLoS ONE 02/2007; 2(5):e453. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Tanya Wolff
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    ABSTRACT: The coordinated polarization of cells within an epithelium is required for the development and function of some tissues. Recent work has shown that the EGF receptor signaling pathway plays a key role in establishing epithelial polarity in the compound eye of Drosophila.
    Current Biology 11/2003; 13(20):R813-4. · 9.49 Impact Factor
  • Amy S Rawls, Tanya Wolff
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    ABSTRACT: Tissue polarity in Drosophila is regulated by a number of genes that are thought to function in a complex, many of which interact genetically and/or physically, co-localize, and require other tissue polarity proteins for their localization. We report the enhancement of the strabismus tissue polarity phenotype by mutations in two other tissue polarity genes, flamingo and prickle. Flamingo is autonomously required for the establishment of ommatidial polarity. Its localization is dynamic throughout ommatidial development and is dependent on Frizzled and Notch. Flamingo and Strabismus co-localize for several rows posterior to the morphogenetic furrow and subsequently diverge. While neither of these proteins is required for the other's localization, Prickle localization is influenced by Strabismus function. Our data suggest that Strabismus, Flamingo and Prickle function together to regulate the establishment of tissue polarity in the Drosophila eye.
    Development 06/2003; 130(9):1877-87. · 6.21 Impact Factor
  • Amy S Rawls, Jake B Guinto, Tanya Wolff
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    ABSTRACT: The Drosophila eye is a polarized epithelium in which ommatidia of opposing chirality fall on opposite sides of the eye's midline, the equator. The equator is established in at least two steps: photoreceptors R3 and R4 adopt their fates, and then ommatidia rotate clockwise or counterclockwise in accordance with the identity of these photoreceptors. We report the role of two cadherins, Fat (Ft) and Dachsous (Ds), in conveying the polarizing signal from the D/V midline in the Drosophila eye. In eyes lacking Ft, the midline is abolished. In ft and ds mutant clones, wild-type tissue rescues genetically mutant tissue at the clonal borders, giving rise to ectopic equators. These ectopic equators distort a mosaic analysis of these genes and led to the possible misinterpretation that ft and ds are required to specify the R3 and R4 cell fates, respectively. Our interpretation of these data supports a significantly different model in which ft and ds are not necessarily required for fate determination. Rather, they are involved in long-range signaling during the formation of the equator, as defined by the presence of an organized arrangement of dorsal and ventral chiral ommatidial forms.
    Current Biology 07/2002; 12(12):1021-6. · 9.49 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

152 Citations
50.24 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2009
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      • Department of Genetics
      Saint Louis, MO, United States