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The Drosophila photoreceptor is a highly polarized cell; a mature photoreceptor cell in Drosophila contains a photosensitive structure (the rhabdomere) and a supporting membrane (stalk) at its apical membrane. In a screen to isolate genes involved in determining stalk and rhabdomere formation, this study has identified the Drosophila mob2 (Dmob2) gene. Dmob2 belongs to a Mob1/phocein domain protein family whose functions are involved in polarized cell growth and asymmetric cell fate determination in yeast. To study the role of Dmob2 in photoreceptor development, we have raised an antibody against the Dmob2 protein. An immunocytochemical study has shown that Dmob2 is mainly localized in the apical membrane of photoreceptor cells during early development. As development proceeds, Dmob2 is gradually confined to the rhabdomere base of the photoreceptor cells. RNA interference (RNAi) for knockdown Dmob2 expression during eye development impairs rhabdomere formation. Our study further shows that the subcellular localization of phosphorylated Moesin and Crumbs in the developing photoreceptor cell is disrupted in Dmob2 RNAi flies. This work thus reports a novel function of Dmob2 in photoreceptor cell development.


Ling-Yu Liu, Cheng-Han Lin, Seng-Sheen Fan. Function of Drosophila mob2 in photoreceptor morphogenesis. Cell and tissue research. 2009 Dec;338(3):377-89

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PMID: 19834743

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