Exploiting Drosophila melanogaster Wing Imaginal Disc Eversion to Screen for New EMT Effectors

Sofia Golenkina, Rosemary Manhire-Heath, Michael J Murray
Methods in Molecular Biology 2021, 2179: 115-134
In the early stages of Drosophila melanogaster (Drosophila) metamorphosis, a partial epithelial-mesenchymal transition (pEMT) takes place in the peripodial epithelium of wing imaginal discs. Blocking this pEMT results in adults with internalized wings and missing thoracic tissue. Using peripodial GAL4 drivers, GAL80ts temporal control, and UAS RNAi transgenes, one can use these phenotypes to screen for genes involved in the pEMT. Dominant modifier tests can then be employed to identify genetic enhancers and suppressors. To analyze a gene's role in the pEMT, one can then visualize peripodial cells in vivo at the time of eversion within the pupal case using live markers, and by dissecting, fixing, and immunostaining the prepupae. Alternatively, one can analyze the pEMT ex vivo by dissecting out wing discs and culturing them in the presence of ecdysone to induce eversion. This can provide a clearer view of the cellular processes involved and permit drug treatments to be easily applied.

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