Compartment boundaries play key roles in tissue organization by separating cell populations. Activation of the Notch receptor is required for dorsoventral (DV) compartmentalization of the Drosophila wing, but the nature of its requirement has been controversial. Here, we provide additional evidence that a stripe of Notch activation is sufficient to establish a sharp separation between cell populations, irrespective of their dorsal or ventral identities. We further find that cells at the DV compartment boundary are characterized by a distinct shape, a smooth interface, and an accumulation of F-actin at the adherens junction. Genetic manipulation establishes that a stripe of Notch activation is both necessary and sufficient for this DV boundary cell phenotype, and supports the existence of a non-transcriptional branch of the Notch pathway that influences F-actin. Finally, we identify a distinct requirement for a regulator of actin polymerization, capulet, in DV compartmentalization. These observations imply that Notch effects compartmentalization through a novel mechanism, which we refer to as a fence, that does not depend on the establishment of compartment-specific cell affinities, but does depend on the organization of the actin cytoskeleton.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology