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    The Drosophila dorsal vessel (DV) is comprised of two opposing rows of cardioblasts (CBs) that migrate toward the dorsal midline during development. While approaching the midline, CBs change shape, enabling dorsal and ventral attachments with their contralateral partners to create a linear tube with a central lumen. We previously demonstrated DV closure occurs via a "buttoning" mechanism where specific CBs advance ahead of their lateral neighbors, and attach creating transient holes, which eventually seal. Here, we investigate the role of the actin-regulatory protein enabled (Ena) in DV closure. Loss of Ena results in DV cell shape and alignment defects. Live analysis of DV formation in ena mutants shows a reduction in CB leading edge protrusion length and gaps in the DV between contralateral CB pairs. These gaps occur primarily between a specific genetic subtype of CBs, which express the transcription factor seven-up (Svp) and form the ostia inflow tracts of the heart. In WT embryos these gaps between Svp+ CBs are observed transiently during the final stages of DV closure. Our data suggest that Ena modulates the actin cytoskeleton in order to facilitate the complete sealing of the DV during the final stages of cardiac tube formation. © 2021 American Association of Anatomists.


    Tiffany R King, Joseph Kramer, Yi-Shan Cheng, David Swope, Sunita G Kramer. Enabled/VASP is required to mediate proper sealing of opposing cardioblasts during Drosophila dorsal vessel formation. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 2021 Aug;250(8):1173-1190

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    PMID: 33587326

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