Type IV collagen
Germ band retraction
Nerve cord condensation
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract A collagen gene (Dcg1) was characterized in Drosophila melanogaster and shown to encode a peptide related to vertebrate basement membrane type IV collagen chains. To study the function of type IV collagen during Drosophila development, we transformed flies with a partially truncated Dcg1 gene under the control of a heat-shock promotor. This construct induced synthesis of shortened pro-α chains which associated with normal ones and thereby caused degradation of the shortened and normal pro-α chains through a process called “pro-collagen suicide”. A large proportion of embryos expressing the transgene developed a phenotype exhibiting absence or partial retraction of the germ band with defects in nerve cord condensation and dorsal closure. Together these results indicated that, during embryogenesis, type IV collagen was an essential guiding factor for cell-matrix interactions in morphogenetic events.
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