Multiple roles for egalitarian in polarization of the Drosophila egg chamber

Paulomi Sanghavi, Guojun Liu, Rajalakshmi Veeranan-Karmegam, Caryn Navarro, Graydon B. Gonsalvez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Drosophila egg chamber provides a useful model for examining mechanisms by which cell fates are specified and maintained in the context of a complex tissue. The egg chamber is also an excellent model for understanding the mechanism by which cytoskeletal filaments are organized and the critical interplay between cytoskeletal organization, polarity establishment, and cell fate specification. Previous work has shown that Egalitarian (Egl) is required for specification and maintenance of oocyte fate. Mutants in egl either completely fail to specify an oocyte, or if specified, the oocyte eventually reverts back to nurse cell fate. Due to this very early role for Egl in egg chamber maturation, it is unclear whether later stages of egg chamber development also require Egl function. In this report, we have depleted Egl at specific stages of egg chamber development. We demonstrate that in early-stage egg chambers, Egl has an additional role in organization of oocyte microtubules. In the absence of Egl function, oocyte microtubules completely fail to reorganize. As such, the localization of microtubule motors and their cargo is disrupted. In addition, Egl also appears to function in regulating the translation of critical polarity determining messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Finally, we demonstrate that in midstage egg chambers, Egl does not appear to be required for microtubule organization, but rather for the correct spatial localization of oskar, bicoid, and gurken mRNAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-432
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2016


  • Cell polarity
  • Microtubule organization
  • Molecular motor
  • RNA localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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