Distinct functions for Rho1 in maintaining adherens junctions and apical tension in remodeling epithelia

Stephen J Warner, Gregory D Longmore
Journal of Cell Biology 2009 June 15, 185 (6): 1111-25
Maintenance and remodeling of adherens junctions (AJs) and cell shape in epithelia are necessary for the development of functional epithelia and are commonly altered during cancer progression/metastasis. Although formation of nascent AJs has received much attention, whether shared mechanisms are responsible for the maintenance and remodeling of AJs in dynamic epithelia, particularly in vivo, is not clear. Using clonal analysis in the postmitotic Drosophila melanogaster pupal eye epithelium, we demonstrate that Rho1 is required to maintain AJ integrity independent of its role in sustaining apical cell tension. Rho1 depletion in a remodeling postmitotic epithelium disrupts AJs but only when depleted in adjacent cells. Surprisingly, neither of the Rho effectors, Rok or Dia, is necessary downstream of Rho1 to maintain AJs; instead, Rho1 maintains AJs by inhibiting Drosophila epithelial cadherin endocytosis in a Cdc42/Par6-dependent manner. In contrast, depletion of Rho1 in single cells decreases apical tension, and Rok and myosin are necessary, while Dia function also contributes, downstream of Rho1 to sustain apical cell tension.

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