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Spatial and temporal regulation of glycosylation during Drosophila eye development

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Glycosylation plays an essential role during development, in processes such as morphogen distribution, cell-to-cell communication, and extracellular matrix formation. Glycosylation is regulated during development in both a spatial and temporal manner. This study presents a detailed description of glycan distribution from late pupal to adult stages in Drosophila ommatidia by using nine different lectins. The lectins ConA, LCA, and DSA, which recognize high-mannose or complex types of N-linked glycans stain both apical and basolateral membranes of photoreceptor cells, whereas SBA, DBA, and ABA lectins, which bind to mucin-type O-glycans, label the inter-rhabdomeral space. The O-linked GlcNAc moiety is strongly labeled by WGA on the nuclear membrane. The localization of these glycans does not change throughout late pupal development. In contrast, the abundance of O-linked glycans, bisected oligosaccharides, and GlcNAc-containing glycans detected by PNA, PHA-E4, and WGA, respectively, is reduced in rhabdomeres and other subcellular domains during late pupal development. Some of these glycans have also been detected in the Golgi and/or putative secretory vesicles, suggesting their dynamic transport during development. These glycans, whose expression is dynamically regulated in a spatial and temporal manner, may therefore play critical roles in ommatidial development.

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We thank members of the Bio-molecular Structure Analysis Laboratory, Mutant Flies Laboratory, and Goto Laboratory in MITILS for technical support and helpful discussions.

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Correspondence to Satoshi Goto.

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This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan (to H.Y. and S.G.) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (to S.G.).

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Yano, H., Yamamoto-Hino, M. & Goto, S. Spatial and temporal regulation of glycosylation during Drosophila eye development. Cell Tissue Res 336, 137–147 (2009).

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  • Glycosylation
  • Development
  • Eye
  • Golgi
  • Lectins
  • Drosophila melanogaster (Insecta)