During the asymmetric divisions of Drosophila neuroblasts, the Par polarity complex cycles between the cytoplasm and an apical cortical domain that restricts differentiation factors to the basal cortex. We used rapid imaging of the full cell volume to uncover the dynamic steps that underlie transitions between neuroblast polarity states. Initially the Par proteins aPKC and Bazooka form discrete foci at the apical cortex. Foci grow into patches that together comprise a discontinuous, unorganized structure. Coordinated cortical flows that begin near metaphase and are dependent on the actin cytoskeleton rapidly transform the patches into a highly organized apical cap. At anaphase onset, the cap disassembles as the cortical flow reverses direction towards the emerging cleavage furrow. Following division, cortical patches dissipate into the cytoplasm allowing the neuroblast polarity cycle to begin again. Our work demonstrates how neuroblasts use asymmetric recruitment and cortical flows to dynamically polarize during asymmetric division cycles.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Ken Prehoda
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Yukiko M Yamashita, University of Michigan, United States
© 2019, Oon & Prehoda
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Cellular polarization is fundamental for various biological processes. The Par network system is conserved for cellular polarization. Its core complex consists of Par3, Par6, and aPKC. However, the general dynamic processes that occur during polarization are not well understood. Here, we reconstructed Par-dependent polarity using non-polarized Drosophila S2 cells expressing all three components endogenously in the cytoplasm. The results indicated that elevated Par3 expression induces cortical localization of the Par-complex at the interphase. Its asymmetric distribution goes through three steps: emergence of cortical dots, development of island-like structures with dynamic amorphous shapes, repeating fusion and fission, and polarized clustering of the islands. Our findings also showed that these islands contain a meshwork of unit-like segments. Furthermore, Par-complex patches resembling Par-islands exist in Drosophila mitotic neuroblasts. Thus, this reconstruction system provides an experimental paradigm to study features of the assembly process and structure of Par-dependent cell-autonomous polarity.
Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that undergo cycles of fission and fusion at a unified platform defined by endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondria membrane contact sites (MCSs). These MCSs or nodes co-localize fission and fusion machinery. We set out to identify how ER-associated mitochondrial nodes can regulate both fission and fusion machinery assembly. We have used a promiscuous biotin ligase linked to the fusion machinery, Mfn1, and proteomics to identify an ER membrane protein, ABHD16A, as a major regulator of node formation. In the absence of ABHD16A, fission and fusion machineries fail to recruit to ER-associated mitochondrial nodes and fission and fusion rates are significantly reduced. ABHD16A contains an acyltransferase motif and an α/β hydrolase domain and point mutations in critical residues of these regions fail to rescue the formation of ER-associated mitochondrial hot spots. These data suggest a mechanism whereby ABHD16A functions by altering phospholipid composition at ER-mitochondria MCSs. Our data present the first example of an ER membrane protein that regulates the recruitment of both fission and fusion machineries to mitochondria.