Indirect flight muscles (IFMs) in Drosophila are generated during pupariation by fusion of hundreds of myoblasts with larval muscle templates (myotubes). Live observation of these muscles during the fusion process revealed multiple long actin-based protrusions that emanate from the myotube surface and require Enabled and IRSp53 for their generation and maintenance. Fusion is blocked when formation of these filopodia is compromised. While filopodia are not required for the signaling process underlying critical myoblast cell-fate changes prior to fusion, myotube-myoblast adhesion appears to be filopodia dependent. Without filopodia, close apposition between the cell membranes is not achieved, the cell-adhesion molecule Duf is not recruited to the myotube surface, and adhesion-dependent actin foci do not form. We therefore propose that the filopodia are necessary to prime the heterotypic adhesion process between the two cell types, possibly by recruiting the cell-adhesion molecule Sns to discrete patches on the myoblast cell surface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology