The dPix-Git complex is essential to coordinate epithelial morphogenesis and regulate myosin during <i>Drosophila</i> egg chamber development

by Lucas G. Dent, Samuel A. Manning, Benjamin Kroeger, Audrey M. Williams, Abdul Jabbar Saiful Hilmi, Luke Crea, Shu Kondo, Sally Horne-Badovinac, Kieran F. Harvey

How biochemical and mechanical information are integrated during tissue development is a central question in morphogenesis. In many biological systems, the PIX-GIT complex localises to focal adhesions and integrates both physical and chemical information. We used Drosophila melanogaster egg chamber formation to study the function of PIX and GIT orthologues (dPix and Git, respectively), and discovered a central role for this complex in controlling myosin activity and epithelial monolayering. We found that Git’s focal adhesion targeting domain mediates basal localisation of this complex to filament structures and the leading edge of migrating cells. In the absence of dpix and git, tissue disruption is driven by contractile forces, as reduction of myosin activators restores egg production and morphology. Further, dpix and git mutant eggs closely phenocopy defects previously reported in pak mutant epithelia. Together, these results indicate that the dPix-Git complex controls egg chamber morphogenesis by controlling myosin contractility and Pak kinase downstream of focal adhesions.

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