A Determinant for Directionality of Organelle Transport in Drosophila Embryos

Steven P. Gross, Yi D Guo, Joel E. Martinez, Michael A. Welte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Motor-driven transport along microtubules is a primary cellular mechanism for moving and positioning organelles. Many cargoes move bidirectionally by using both minus and plus end-directed motors. How such cargoes undergo controlled net transport is unresolved. Results: Using a combination of genetics, molecular biology, and biophysics, we have identified Halo, a novel regulator of lipid droplet transport in early Drosophila embryos. In embryos lacking Halo, net transport of lipid droplets, but not that of other cargoes, is specifically altered; net transport is minus-end directed at develop-mental stages when it is normally plus-end directed. This reversal is due to an altered balance of motion at the level of individual organelles; without Halo, travel distances and stall forces are reduced for plus-end and increased for minus-end motion. During development, halo mRNA is highly upregulated just as net plus-end transport is initiated (phase II), and its levels drop precipitously shortly before transport becomes minus-end directed (phase III). Exogenously provided Halo prevents the switch to net minus-end transport in phase III in wild-type embryos and induces net plus-end transport during phase II in halo mutant embryos. This mechanism of regulation is likely to be of general importance because the Drosophila genome encodes a family of related proteins with similar sequences, each transiently expressed in distinct domains. Conclusions: We conclude that Halo acts as a directionality determinant for embryonic droplet transport and is the first member of a new class of transport regulators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1660-1668
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume13
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 30 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Organelles
droplets
Drosophila
organelles
Embryonic Structures
Biophysics
Lipids
biophysics
Molecular biology
lipids
travel
molecular biology
microtubules
Genes
Switches
Microtubules
Molecular Biology
mutants
Messenger RNA
genome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Gross, S. P., Guo, Y. D., Martinez, J. E., & Welte, M. A. (2003). A Determinant for Directionality of Organelle Transport in Drosophila Embryos. Current Biology, 13(19), 1660-1668. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2003.08.032

A Determinant for Directionality of Organelle Transport in Drosophila Embryos. / Gross, Steven P.; Guo, Yi D; Martinez, Joel E.; Welte, Michael A.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 13, No. 19, 30.09.2003, p. 1660-1668.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gross, SP, Guo, YD, Martinez, JE & Welte, MA 2003, 'A Determinant for Directionality of Organelle Transport in Drosophila Embryos', Current Biology, vol. 13, no. 19, pp. 1660-1668. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2003.08.032
Gross, Steven P. ; Guo, Yi D ; Martinez, Joel E. ; Welte, Michael A. / A Determinant for Directionality of Organelle Transport in Drosophila Embryos. In: Current Biology. 2003 ; Vol. 13, No. 19. pp. 1660-1668.
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