Int. J. Dev. Biol. 48: 1087 - 1094 (2004)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.041859am
© UPV/EHU Press

PVF1/PVR signaling and apoptosis promotes the rotation and dorsal closure of the Drosophila male terminalia

Ana Macías1*, Nuria M. Romero2, Francisco Martín3, Leonardo Suárez1, Alberto L. Rosa2 and Ginés Morata3

1Laboratorio Genética del Desarrollo, FCEF y N de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina, 2Laboratorio de Neurogenética, Instituto de Investigación Médica "Mercedes y Martín Ferreyra", INIMEC-CONICET, Argentina and 3Centro de Biología Molecular, UAM, CSIC, Spain

ABSTRACT The Drosophila adult male terminalia originate from the genital disc. During the pupal stages, the external parts of terminalia evert from two ventral stalks; the everted left and right dorsal halves fuse at the dorsal midline. At the same time the male terminalia perform a 360 clockwise rotation. Several mutations are known to affect the rotation of the male terminalia, while none is known to affect dorsal closure. We show here that the Pvf1 gene, encoding one of the three Drosophila homologues of the mammalian VEGF/PDGF growth factors, is required for both processes. Males either mutant for Pvf1 or bearing a dominant negative form of Pvr or stasis (stai), the unique PVF receptor, do not complete either rotation or dorsal closure. Pvf1 expression in the genital disc is restricted to the A8 cells. However, PVF1/PVR signaling influences A8, A9 and A10 cells, suggesting that the PVF1 protein diffuses from its source. Flies hemizygous for the apoptotic genes hid, reaper and grim, or mutant for puckered which encodes a phosphatase that down-regulates the n-Jun-N terminal kinase pathway, lead to the same phenotypes as mutations in PVF1/PVR. Our results indicate that PVF1/PVR signaling functions not only in apoptotic phenomena but are also required during rotation and dorsal closure of the Drosophila male genital disc.

Keywords:

PVF1/PVR, VEGF/PDGF, apoptosis, Drosophila, male genital disc

*Corresponding author e-mail: amacias@com.uncor.edu