Displacement of basolateral Bazooka/PAR-3 by regulated transport and dispersion during epithelial polarization in Drosophila

R F Andrew McKinley, Tony J C Harris
Molecular Biology of the Cell 2012, 23 (22): 4465-71
Polarity landmarks guide epithelial development. In the early Drosophila ectoderm, the scaffold protein Bazooka (Drosophila PAR-3) forms apicolateral landmarks to direct adherens junction assembly. However, it is unclear how Bazooka becomes polarized. We report two mechanisms acting in concert to displace Bazooka from the basolateral membrane. As cells form during cellularization, basally localized Bazooka undergoes basal-to-apical transport. Bazooka requires its three postsynaptic density 95, discs large, zonula occludens-1 (PDZ) domains to engage the transport mechanism, but with the PDZ domains deleted, basolateral displacement still occurs by gastrulation. Basolateral PAR-1 activity appears to act redundantly with the transport mechanism. Knockdown of PAR-1 sporadically destabilizes cellularization furrows, but basolateral displacement of Bazooka still occurs by gastrulation. In contrast, basolateral Bazooka displacement is blocked with disruption of both the transport mechanism and phosphorylation by PAR-1. Thus Bazooka is polarized through a combination of transport and PAR-1-induced dispersion from basolateral membranes. Our work complements recent findings in Caenorhabditis elegans and thus suggests the coupling of transport and dispersion is a common protein polarization strategy.

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